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CFNC Offers Spanish-Speaking Families College Prep Help
December 7, 2023 – Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools partnered with the College Foundation of North Carolina on Wednesday night to provide Spanish-speaking students and families with information on the college application process.
Dr. JuanEs Ramirez from CFNC Spanish Services led a crowd of students in families in a comprehensive discussion about the ins and outs of college applications. The workshop covered some of the extra barriers that Latino students often face when applying for college, navigating financial aid resources like the FAFSA, using the NC Residency Determination Service, and the intersection of career training and higher education opportunities. College applications are a daunting challenge even when there isn’t a language barrier to overcome, so getting to speak with an expert on the subject in a small-group setting could make a huge difference for the students and families who attended.
“I am so excited about the partnership between WS/FCS and CFNC with this event that cultivated a safe place for families to get their questions and concerns answered pertaining to the road to post-secondary success,” said Chief Officer of Student Services Clint Wilson.
This was WS/FCS’ first time offering a college readiness workshop in this style specifically for a Spanish-speaking audience. Students who aren’t fluent in English, or even ones who are but whose parents aren’t, have a few extra hurdles to clear when they’re filling out forms, applying for scholarships, and participating in entrance interviews. Events like this workshop are a chance for the district to make sure its Spanish-speaking community isn’t at a disadvantage when it comes to continuing education.
“We have many Latino students who speak fluent English, but their parents might not, and we want them to be included in this too,” said Lead High School Counselor Kenya Rocker.
While this was the first of the district’s Spanish-language college readiness workshops, it certainly won’t be the last. Over 30 attendees from various high schools came and had some pressing questions about their post-secondary plans answered. Organizers hope that there will be more of these events ready to open in the spring and that none of the district’s Spanish-speaking students will have to miss out on the college experience due to circumstances beyond their control.
“We have most of our high schools represented here, and they’re getting everything they need to know,” said CARES Team Assistant Leader Antionette Moore. “It’s important that we get everyone on equal footing in their educational journeys.”
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