Andrews to Host Hispanic College Day
Hundreds of local Hispanic students are expected to gather at Andrews University for Hispanic College Day on Friday, May 6. The free event brings together Hispanic students from four area counties to explore college options and register for college, attend career seminars, and hear a keynote speaker.
The students attending the College Fair represent schools in Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties. The students were selected by their teachers or guidance counselors based on maintenance of a grade point average of 2.0 or better, a sincere interest in college, good attendance for the year, and good interpersonal skills in the classroom.
William Navalon, director of recruitment services and coordinator of this year’s event, says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get exposure to careers and mentors they would otherwise never meet. They get to see other Latinos who have walked in their shoes, yet have made it through college and have successful careers.”
The day begins at 8:30 a.m. with a college fair at the Howard Performing Arts Center located on the campus of Andrews University, followed by the keynote speech delivered by Edwin I. Hernández, a senior program officer for research, education and congregational initiatives at the DeVos Family Foundation. A research fellow with the Center for the Study of Latino Religion at the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame and a published author, he holds a PhD from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Divinity from Andrews University. His research has focused on Latino religious experience, theological education, congregational studies, and the role of religious leaders in sustaining the life and commitment of socially-engaged congregations.
Following the keynote, students will break out to attend seminars geared to their age group, including career option exploration and how to pay for college. Later, students will gain additional insights into achieving their academic and professional goals by hearing from a panel of successful Latino professionals and current college students.
Past student participants in Hispanic College Day have had positive feedback. One student said the seminar presentations, “gave me options I didn’t know I had, and now I am able to pay for college.”
Hispanic College Day began in 1984, and grew from a need to ensure Hispanic students, who are traditionally most at risk for not being able to attend college, had access to a source of information regarding college and career options. It was first hosted by the Van Buren Technology Center. Due to increased participation and an interest for more exposure to a college campus, local colleges and universities now do the hosting. Last year’s event was held at Western Michigan University.