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Michael Benitez Jr.

March 2010

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Campus event gives Hispanic/Latino high schoolers a glimpse of college

On March 5, the Bemis International Center will come alive with Hispanic/Latino culture – and with high school juniors and seniors who call that culture their own – as the campus offers an inside look at college life with Para un Futuro Mejor (For a Better Future).

“It’s a chance to get on a college campus, to see what a residence hall looks like and hear from some of the current students,” says Jim Stamatakos (Admissions). “They will be able to ask them, ‘Hey, what is it like to be here? What problems have you run into? How are your professors?’”

Attendees at the free event will come from Green Bay’s four public high schools as well as St. Martin de Porres High School in Waukegan, Ill., and Waukegan High School. Students will participate in workshops, have lunch with St. Norbert faculty and staff, including President Thomas Kunkel, and hear a keynote address by Michael Benitez Jr.

Benitez, a doctoral student at Iowa State University, speaks throughout the country on student activism, diversity and social justice. He shares his personal experiences to empower and educate young people.

Event workshops include a presentation of admission and financial aid information as well as a panel discussion with St. Norbert students. The program is designed to welcome Hispanic and Latino high schoolers to campus, Stamatakos says.

Just as the teens at last year’s campus art day for Hmong students left their mark with a mosaic mural for the gathering space of Madelaine/Lorraine Hall, Para un Futuro Mejor attendees also will generate a lasting memento. The Latino students will contribute to a video project by responding on camera to one of three questions: (1) Who is your role model and why? (2) Why do you want to go to college? and (3) Reflecting on your family and your heritage, what makes you the most proud?

A copy of the edited video will be e-mailed to each student and their high schools and will be available on the St. Norbert College web site.

With a large number of high school seniors still undecided about their future, Stamatakos says that the event is a good opportunity for high schoolers to find out what St. Norbert College is like.

“I hope they get a sense of what people are like here,” said Stamatakos. “A college is more than just the buildings and the physical plant. It’s the people. I hope they take that from this experience.”

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