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The winner is Shelem Celis.
How did she win? Shelem went to the New Futuro College Summit at the Pasadena Convention Center in Los Angles on September 29th. She found the Hispanic Access Foundation booth and had her photo taken by one of our photographers. She followed the instructions that were emailed to her and her photo on Facebook received the most likes, 1,022, of all the participants from the Los Angeles conference.
A little about Shelem: she is from Lomita, CA. Her first choice of school is Oberlin College in Ohio because they have a college of science and also have a conservatory for music. She’d like to take classes in music while pursuing a major in Pediatric Neuroscience.
Her parents both went to college in Col0mbia. When Shelem visited Colombia this past Summer she met a handicapped student from a poor family. She vowed that if she won the laptop from HAF she would ship it to him because he is in greater need of it than she is.
Hispanic Access Foundation will be giving away 4 more laptops, one winner will be chosen from each of the following events:
Houston- Reliant Park- October 6, 2012
New York – The Apex at Lehman College- October 20, 2012
Miami- Miami Dade County Fair & Expo – October 27, 2012
Chicago- Navy Pier Exhibition Hall – November 10,2012
You must attend one of these events to be eligible to win a laptop.
Why is Hispanic Access Foundation participating in the New Futuro college prep fairs? Hispanic Access Foundation knows that for families a college education is very important but that Hispanics are still not graduating from college at the rates this country needs for its economic future and prosperity.
How else is Hispanic Access Foundation participating?
- Executive Director Maite Arce is serving as an expert panelist on a televised Spanish-language discussion with parents and students regarding meaningful access to college
- HAF Board Member, Marta Sanchez and HAF team member Liz Neuenschwander are giving presentations to parents and students titled, “Family Involvement in Education” and “Pathway to College.”
- H&R Block is sponsoring Hispanic Access’ involvement in the New Futuro events, so to find us follow the signs for the H&R Block booths and workshops.
October 16, 2012 by Jennifer Brandt
Teen Driver Safety Week, held from October 14-20, is our turn to return the favor.
During this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encourages parents to teach teens ways that they can be safer drivers.
For Hispanic parents, this event is particularly important, as car crashes are the leading cause of death for Hispanic teens.
Luckily, that’s a statistic you can change. Here are five strategies to help your teen understand the risks of the road and think twice before driving distracted:
1. Set a Good Example: If you’re telling your teen to follow safe driving behaviors, so should you. That means always wearing your seat belt, keeping your cell phone in your glove compartment and avoiding other distractions when you drive.
2. Create and Enforce Driving Rules: Discuss what it means to be a safe driver with your teen and set rules for when they’re behind the wheel. The rules should also have consequences that are enforced. For example, if your daughter drives without a seat belt, she can’t attend her friend’s Quinceañera.
3. Avoid Adding Temptation: Staying in touch with your teen is important, but remember that your call, email or text message can be a distraction. In fact, drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. Don’t take that risk. Avoid reaching out to your teen when they’re on the road.
4. Learn the Traffic Safety Laws in Your State: Many states have Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws that ban young drivers from using cell phones and texting while driving. Make sure your teen driver understands that violating these laws may mean having a delayed or suspended license.
5. Take a Pledge Together: Print or cut out the pledge form below and have every member of your family commit to driving safe. Sharing and keeping this pledge together is also a great example to set for younger children.
Whatever strategy you take, remember that the educating your teen about driving laws and risks will give them the information they need to be safer on the road.
To learn more, please visit www.distraction.gov.
October 12, 2012 by Jennifer Brandt
By Chelsea Weikart Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — As 19-year-old Annalisa Martinez put it, “It’s our job to be leaders.”
She made the comment after she and a group of her peers from a Catholic parish in Denver met with Colorado’s U.S. senators on Capitol Hill for an environmental cause: urging federal protection for Browns Canyon in Colorado.
Ranging in age from 12 to 19, the Latino youths from Denver’s St. Cajetan Parish and an organization called Environmental Learning for Kids were brought together by the Washington-based Hispanic Access Foundation.
Maite Arce, executive director of the foundation, founded the nonprofit after growing up as the child of Mexican immigrants who had trouble accessing information and resources in their new country.
The foundation has partnerships with mostly faith-based community groups, such as St. Cajetan, to organize events and programs that inform Hispanics about education, voting, the environment and other issues, as well as to promote responsible citizenship and community involvement.
St. Cajetan is one of the oldest Hispanic Catholic parishes in the Denver Archdiocese.
Over a three-day visit in Washington in mid-September, the youths’ schedule included a meeting with Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, both Colorado Democrats, to express their concern for Browns Canyon and to promote scholarships for Hispanic students.
The canyon, southwest of the Denver metro area, is a popular place for hiking, camping, viewing wildlife, fishing and white-water rafting. Udall has proposed that Congress designate it as national monument or wildlife preserve.
It’s a place the youths and many others have grown to love, they said. Last year, the Hispanic Access Foundation and Environmental Learning for Kids sponsored a fishing education day there; 250 families participated in the trip, the first of its kind for many in the group. This past summer, 68 youths and their parents went on a camping trip to the canyon.
Udall has said giving a special designation to Browns Canyon would bring jobs to the state and put the area “on the map” and attract visitors. It also needs protection, advocates say, because illegal roads in the area have led “to erosion and habitat destruction.”
Linda Sosa, a spokeswoman for St. Cajetan, said considers herself a second mother to the seven 12- to 19-year-old girls she brought to Washington.
Hispanic immigrants to the United States “don’t know the systems. I don’t want that for these kids,” she said, adding that the Catholic Church has a role in educating Hispanics about how government works. “The church is more than prayer, we can be the voices outside the church.”
Sosa has taught catechism classes for 30 years at St. Cajetan, which was established in 1922. Her involvement has given her a connection to parish youths.
All but two of the St. Cajetan girls were on their first trip to Washington. Speaking a mix of English and Spanish throughout the day, several of them mentioned to a Catholic News Service reporter they were “missing the mountains.” Money for their trip came from a combination of fundraisers, parish donations and matching funds from the Hispanic Access Foundation.
The summer camping trip to Browns Canyon gave them a chance to see wildlife and to go white-water rafting on the Arkansas River — and it sparked the youths’ interest in protecting the canyon. They began asking Sosa what they could do, which led to her teaming up with the foundation and coordinating the trip and a chance to talk to Udall and Bennet.
Arce told CNS that the group’s interest in the outdoors and the environment is reflected in a 2012 survey on Latinos and the environment, conducted by the Sierra Club and the National Council of La Raza. Nine in 10 respondents said people “have moral responsibility to take care of God’s creation on this earth — the wilderness, and forests, the oceans, lakes and rivers.”
During a picnic lunch in Lafayette Park across from the White House, where they headed later that afternoon to talk to staffers, Annalisa Martinez told CNS that Udall and Bennet “were very involved in hearing what we had to say.”
The oldest in the group, she is finishing an associate’s degree in early childhood education.
Her niece, 12 year-old Anastasia Martinez was the youngest. She’d like to become a geologist or horse trainer.
“My mother and I grew up in those mountains,” she said. “If they were destroyed it would break our hearts.”
Jennie Hurrieta, 17, told CNS the group had a lot of support from St. Cajetan Parish, especially from its pastor, Theatine Father Tomas Fraile.
“Father Tomas was very supportive, he baptized all of us, he really wants us to succeed,” she said, adding that the priest encourages them to be leaders in their community and their church. “This world isn’t ours, it’s God’s, we are preserving it for future generations,” she added.
“Linda Sosa and the students are doing a wonderful job going to D.C. and talking to senators,” Father Fraile told CNS later in a telephone interview. “If we Christians and Catholics believe in God, we have a moral responsibility to take care of God’s children the same way we have the responsibility of taking care of the whole of God’s creation.”
Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
October 3, 2012 by Jennifer Brandt
By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Cesar E. Chavez, the son of migrant laborers whose nonviolent struggle for farm laborers’ rights won him comparisons to Gandhi, will be commemorated with a new national monument in Keene, Calif.
President Obama is expected to travel to Keene on Oct. 8 to formally establish the monument, the 398th park unit in the U.S. (A national park generally has “outstanding scenic feature or natural phenomena,” according to the National Park Service website. “National monuments, on the other hand … contain objects of historic, prehistoric, or scientific interest.”)
The Chavez monument will be at a site known as Nuestra Senora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace), in the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains. It was here that the United Farm Workers of America was founded in the 1970s, an organization in which Chavez played a pivotal part. Chavez and his family also lived here until his death in 1993. He is buried here and the new monument will include his gravesite.
As a labor activist, Chavez helped farm workers achieve wage increases and better working conditions. He believed in nonviolence and often fasted to accentuate his points. A water-only fast in 1988 was said to have damaged his health.
In the Los Angeles Times obituary for Chavez, state Sen. Art Torres said: “He was our Gandhi. He was our Dr. Martin Luther King.”
In the obituary, then-President Clinton said, “The labor movement and all Americans have lost a great leader with the death of Cesar Chavez. An inspiring fighter for the cause to which he dedicated his life, Cesar Chavez was an authentic hero to millions of people throughout the world.”
September 28, 2012 by Jennifer Brandt
Eleven Latino high schoolers and six parents from Denver visited the District of Columbia to encourage their elected officials to protect Browns Canyon by providing it with monument status and to preserve other Colorado outdoor locations. The students also met with White House staff, representatives from the Department of Interior and the director of the National Parks Service.
“These kids are vocal champions for the outdoors,” said Maite Arce, executive director for Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF). “They are eager to make a difference for Browns Canyon – they are inspired to fight for its protection so that other young people will be able to enjoy it in the future.”
The students met with Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), who is spearheading the effort to afford permanent protection for Browns Canyon, and Sen. Michael Bennett (D-CO), who successfully led the charge to designate Colorado’s Chimney Rock as a national monument.
“These Latino youth learned the power of their voice when they participate in public policy,” said Linda Sosa, an educator with St. Cajetan Catholic Church. “Browns Canyon and other public spaces have become a passion for these kids. They want to see other generations enjoy what they’ve been able to experience.”
The participants of the visit, which was arranged by HAF, included eight students from St. Cajetan Catholic Church and three from Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK). In July, these same students attended a weekend rafting trip in Browns Canyon organized by HAF and ELK, which helped to teach leadership skills and develop these youth as environmental stewards.
Browns Canyon has become a popular destination, but the area has been degraded by illegal roads leading to erosion and habitat destruction in one of the country’s last remaining unprotected wilderness areas. In the 2012 Colorado College Western States Survey, Latino voters expressed stronger pro-conservation views than their Anglo-counterparts. For example, 75 percent said they would support the creation of new parks and monuments in their states.
The voices of the students were also heard by key presidential advisors including Nancy Sutley, chair of the President’s Council for Environmental Quality, John Jarvis, director of the National Parks Service and representatives for Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
“This has been a dream of ours – to be able to go to Washington and build the skills, confidence and knowledge of our church’s youth,” said Sosa. “They know they can achieve their dreams by having access to our nation’s leaders, and becoming leaders themselves in fighting for what they believe in.”
Source: Hola Arkansas