A couple weeks ago I attended a two day conference hosted by three community organizations known as The Southwest Creations, Young Women United, and Partnership for Community Action. The workshops focused on the importance of constructing a strong base of counseling for high school students to pursue higher education. Specifically intended to inform high school career counselors from various high schools in Albuquerque about strategies and resources they can utilize to help and support students on their transition to higher education.
Hosted in the home of The Southwest Creations, the founder was able to introduce their project and explain its purpose as it aims to support high school students on their way to higher education. The Southwest Creations has developed a seven-month program called ‘Camino a la Universidad’ is based around connecting Spanish speaking families and students with access to higher education institutions. Their curriculum is based on APS requirements to graduate and UNM/CNM requirements to enroll.
During the second half of the conference another innovative and community based project was introduced. The ‘Dropping In’ play is a project that exposes the different problems and situations high school students face in their pursuit to graduate. The ‘Dropping In’ cast, directors, and scriptwriters were present to discuss and answer questions about the drop out issue in New Mexico. Addressing the drop out issue, the ‘Dropping In’ play is now available on DVD to distribute it in public schools to continue the conversation and develop possible solutions to such important issue.
This conference was held to develop a strong and active community collaborative with Spanish speaking families, students and high school career counselors. As a participant, I was able to develop a stronger network with community leaders, career counselors and high school students of New Mexico. Even though the drop out issue was not the main focus of the conference, projects such as ‘Camino a la Universidad’ and the ‘Dropping In’ play, have established a direct approach to encourage students to graduate.
by: Marilu Ugalde