Parent Academies: Empowering Hispanic Communities

ACT’s partnership with Univision Contigo’s education initiative is ending 2016 with a bang! From New York to Los Angeles and many cities in between, we have been on the ground empowering Hispanic families through free, bilingual Parent Academies. The Parent Academies help Hispanic families stay engaged in their child’s education from early childhood development to college readiness and provide them with 1
information on post-secondary pathways. Attendance at the Parent Academies surpassed our expectations and confirms that students and parents are hungry for information about education. Not only has there been record turnout, we are also making a meaningful impact in our Hispanic communities.

Center for Equity in Learning team members Juan Garcia and Maria Vasquez attended and presented at these academies, showcasing ACT’s products, tools, and promoting the Center’s mission. On October 15, more than 10,000 people assembled at California State University
Northridge in Los Angeles to attend the Education Fair and Parent Academy. The sessions included college planning, ACT Profile (which you can check out for free), and help with the financial aid process. Through the Parent Academies, we are reaching thousands of 2students and families and providing them helpful information and giving them the confidence to own their own educational journey. With Hispanic students representing 16 percent of college undergraduates and enrollment expected to increase to 27 percent by 2022, this makes Parent Academies more necessary than ever.

At one stop in Santa Clara, Calif., Juan Garcia met Adriana Vargas, a young woman from Soledad High School who was moved by his presentation. “You inspired me, and allowed me to realize I should and will pursue everything and anything I want to set my mind to” said Vargas, “being Hispanic is already seen as part of the minority, but being a female in this population that is slowly taking over, made me realize that all I have to do is take that one step forward and before I know it so many doors can open my way.” These are the types of connections that show the impact we are making in students’ lives and expresses just 2how vital this work is. Not only does Univision provide free information on the higher education process to Hispanic families and students, they also have more than a few resources for parents of English language learners and students with learning disabilities. This aligns with ACT’s new supports for English learners and one of the many reasons this is a thriving partnership. We share similar goals with Univision and will continue to arm underserved populations with information, access, and resources to succeed in navigating their own pathways. We look ahead to exciting Parent Academies scheduled in 2017 and will continue to make progress for all underrepresented populations, especially Hispanic students.