Helping Hispanic Families Plan for The Future

Last month, we traveled to California twice to participate in Univision parent fairs and present to Hispanic families about financial aid, the college-going process, and the many resources ACT has to offer.

We know the value in working with partners. Univision, a Spanish-language broadcast television network, has been an invaluable partner to help increase college readiness and awareness in the Hispanic community. The overall goal of our partnership is to strengthen underrepresented communities, empower students and their families, and help remove barriers to help make education equitable for all students and learners. This year Univision provided Spanish-speaking “ambassadors” to assist families in Spanish and help answer their questions, which was a valuable addition and enabled us to provide so much more information to families in real time.

In Fresno, the event was held at Fresno State University, outside on the lawn of the Student Services building. Planners expected up to 8,000 students and their family members to attend. Families brought their kids aged from kindergarten through high school to gather resources. Gladys Recinos, account executive-west, Client Relations, helped in the booth and delivered two presentations. When asked what she enjoyed most about the fair she answered, “I really enjoyed answering questions from families and students. Parents want more resources about financial aid in Spanish.” She added, “Students need more resources to help them navigate the choices they make about their learning sooner than in high school.” Lori Swartzendruber, senior program manager, shared, “My favorite part of the Univision education fairs is having the opportunity to interact with students and their families, and providing resources they can use to help them in their college-going journey.”

The Los Angeles fair was held on the East Los Angeles College (ELAC) campus. Event planners expected more than 8,000 people to attend the two-day fair that included scholarship giveaways, chances to win iPads, workshops on the Federal Application for Student Aid, and more. I presented four sessions on behalf of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning on the college-going process and financial aid reaching more than 250 people in the sessions alone. Univision’s ambassadors joined the booth again and were instrumental in helping explain the many free ACT resources to students and families. Students and families were happy to learn of the free prep resources offered thorough ACT Academy and to see the Spanish-language resources offered through the MySuccess site. Several school counselors stopped by to discuss the fee waiver program and ACT Academy as well.

At both fairs, the most popular handouts were information for free test prep resources (ACT Academy), the 2019-2020 ACT test dates, and information regarding our Fee Waiver program. The next planned fair will be held in Houston in February 2020.

Learn more about Univision and the Parent Education Fairs.