More Hispanics attending college in GA -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More Hispanics attending college in GA

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By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

TIFTON, GA (WALB) - More Hispanic students are filling the seats of ABAC's classrooms. "Many of our Hispanics are first generation college students," said Director, Javier Gonzalez.

And many of those students wouldn't be enrolled if it weren't for the College Assistance Migrant Program.

"We do meet with them one-on-one. We make home visits. We provide information at community events, college fairs and health fairs through out the state," said Gonzalez.

Administrators in the program say these efforts are necessary because most of these students' parents are not from the United States.

"Many of them do not have that background of higher education in their home country much less in this country."

It also helps break the cultural barriers about college within the Hispanic community.

"We do understand that it is not the students decision to go to college. As the culture dictates, it is a decision the family makes."

And these are all challenges Gonzalez has dealt with first hand. "I am a first generation college graduate. I came from a family of nine children of migrant farm workers who never even knew higher education was a possibility."

He says the program is good for Georgia especially now that the Hispanic population is growing so quickly.

"These services are essential to maintain the educated workforce that Georgia deserves. Hispanics can't be left behind in the migratory work that has been stereotypically assigned to them.

Hector Olguin is an example of how successful this program can be. Olguin was ABAC's top academic student ending the school year with a 4.0 grade point average. He was a member of the CAMP program.

Hispanics made up four-percent of the state's graduates in 2005, but that number is expected to jump to 24% in 2022.


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