Western Nevada College has
provided Latino students with the opportunity to attend, thrive and excel
academically for a decade. Since its inception, WNC’s Latino Cohort has
provided support to more than 500 Latino students, empowering them to earn
their associate degree before pursuing a four-year degree or entering Nevada's
Now, WNC is pleased to announce
new opportunities for its Latino students through WNC's Latino Leadership
Academy. The program will continue serving the needs of first-generation
Latinos transitioning from high school into college.
“We take great pride in reporting
that our Latino students graduate at a higher rate than the college average
graduation rate,” said program coordinator and founder Lupe Ramirez.
In addition to guiding students
through a rigorous academic plan, students also participate in leadership
opportunities including the college's annual Leadership Summit, network with
city officials, serve on governing boards and volunteer in community events.
Through these activities they develop confidence and discover their leadership
“Starting college is not easy, but
with the help of the academy they made my journey a great success,” Sindy
Since 2010, the Latino Cohort has
helped Latino students at WNC overcome potential cultural barriers so they can
attain an associate degree and be prepared to continue their education at a
four-year school or transition directly into the workplace successfully.
“Our goal is to create that bridge
for the youth to go to UNR and finish their bachelor’s degree,” Ramirez said.
Past cohort members have shared
what the program has done for them:
“The cohort has helped me stay on
track with all my credits and classes I need for the degree I am seeking. Also,
being in the cohort has helped me fill out scholarships and also financial aid
which was important to me because when I was going into college my parents and
I didn't know how to do any of it,” said Liliana Arroyo, who went on to become
a cohort coach.
Frankie Perez, a 2013 WNC graduate
and a member of the first cohort who later became a code officer for the city
of Reno and is also serving on various governing boards, said, “The cohort
gives you that support system. If I needed help in anything, financial aid
wasn’t coming in or whatever, they would be the first ones to jump in to help
Other students who graduated from
the program are serving in the community as deputy officers, nurses,
engineering, social workers and accountants.
The cohort has done much more for
these students. They are learning the value of serving the community they live
in, interning, networking with the city’s movers and shakers, learning about
scholarships and internships, building relationships, learning the importance
of early enrollment for classes, working on campus while going to school full
time and sharing their culture with the community.
Ramirez said it’s important for
students to become engaged with the program as soon as possible.
“Students who start the process
earlier in the year, their level of confidence increases and, as a result, they
are more successful. The students who apply late have a difficult time engaging
in college and are more reluctant in using the additional support,” she said.
The program includes a parent
component that engages the family in higher education. The parents learn the
value of achieving a college degree and the level of commitment necessary from
the entire family, Ramirez said. The conversations involved during the in-take
meetings empower the parents to prepare their children for an education beyond
“That’s why it’s important to have
these conversations with the families, not just the kids,” Ramirez said. “I
know the parents get really excited, and even emotional, when we share the
benefits of the programs with them. They are very appreciative and definitely
WNC is now recruiting for the 2020
Latino Leadership Academy and will celebrate the next decade with an inaugural
celebration in August.
For information, contact Lupe Ramirez at 775-445-3215 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be conducting phone interviews for interested students and is planning a parent information night via Zoom at 6 p.m. May 21. Join the meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87402417460?pwd=eXB2QTFqSHp1bC8xRUhFNGNzN2xYQT09. If requested, the meeting ID is 874 0241 7460 and the
password is 6F3Vei.
The deadline to apply for the program is June 1. Apply at https://www.wnc.edu/latino-outreach/.