I was a panelist together with other 4 Latinx professionals at the Si Se Puede-Latinx Professionals Panel hosted by Creciendo Juntos, a nonprofit located in Charlottesville, Virginia, sharing my college journey stories with the local youth.
Si Se Puede: Kaleidoscope is a program focused on demystifying the journey toward pursuing higher education for the Latinx community.
My name is Elizabeth Valtierra, the Youth Program Coordinator of Creciendo Juntos!
First of all, muchisimas gracias for agreeing to be part of this panel of our first workshop in our larger Si Se Puede program.
I hope you guys have been doing well during these times!
So let's get to business!
For more information about this workshop..
We are calling the panel, "¡Representate! Conversations with Latinx Professionals and Trailblazers.”
The purpose of this panel is to expose Latinx youth to successful Latinx folks that graduated from college.
We really want to just have open and honest conversations with our program participants about what the college journey is like, from applying to graduation.
One thing that we really emphasize in this program is the importance of transparency, meaning, we want to acknowledge and address the barriers and systemic racism that keep our communities from attending college.
We also don’t want to be necessarily preaching “college is the only choice and only way to be successful” but rather, we want it to be an option for our youth if that’s what they desire, and furthermore, we want to be able to support as much as we can along the way.
Here are some of the things we are hoping to ask/cover in the panel discussion (we probably won’t get to all of them, but just to get an idea):
- Was college always a part of your plans? Why or why not?
- What were some of the barriers keeping you from pursuing a college education, if there were any?
- What are some of the things you wish you would have known before attending college?
- What was it like once you got to college? Was it what you expected?
- What was the most surprising or most difficult thing about the college experience?
- What was your support system like?
- What did it feel like when you graduated college? What were your next steps? Did you pursue another degree? Why or why not?
- How does your college education relate to, and/or support you in, your current career?
- Did you think you would end up in your current profession? How did you end up in your current profession?
- What would you say to students who think that a college education is not an option for them?
This is a closed workshop for our Si Se Puede program participants and their mentors.
We will have 8 high school students and their 8 college mentors at the workshop, plus me and Elizabeth! We feel that the group is small enough to really allow for some engaging conversations!