Winter 2021 Edition
Dear students, families, and friends,
The new year is underway, and we have 2020 behind us. Most of us can agree that 2020 was an exceptional year, many of us experiencing many of the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other issues that made it a difficult year. While we continue to confront the current health crisis, the Team at LNESC is hopeful for the incoming year, as we remain committed to provide quality, impactful education and leadership programs designed to prepare students for their future.
In this issues of the LatinEd Connection, you’ll receive information on programs designed to keep students moving forward. Students are continuing to make plans for attending post-secondary institutions in the fall, and we hope to support them through access to scholarships offered directly by LNESC, as well as other external resources, as shared in our “Que Pasa” segment below. We also reveal highlights of what our local service centers have planned for the spring in the “LNESC in the Field” section, showcasing the hard work of LNESC Philadelphia and LNESC Colorado Springs. We are proud to share the story of Kenedi Houston, an LNESC rising star, as she continues to pursue her education while serving her community through leadership roles in school and local organizations.
We have a lot to look forward to this year, and we hope to contribute to the advancement of our students, community and the world through opportunities in education. Together we can make it happen!
LNESC National Office
Que Pasa: Updates and Happenings at LNESC
LULAC National Scholarship Fund
LNESC and LULAC established the LULAC National Scholarship Fund (LNSF) to help youth in underserved communities make the dream of college enrollment a reality. The LNSF program is a unique collaboration between grassroots advocates and corporate partners to fund educational opportunities for deserving youth across the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
The 2021 LNSF application will be available online on February 15, 2021. Students who are interested in applying should visit the LULAC National Scholarship Fund (LNSF) page on the LNESC website for more details.
For additional non-LNESC scholarship resources, click here.
Macy's Emergency Scholarship Fund
The Macy's Emergency Scholarship Fund is a joint partnership between LNESC & Macy's to provide financial resources to deserving students facing economic hardship and immediate monetary need that, if not met, could result in an inability to complete classes or a degree program. For more information, click here.
LNESC in the Field: Connecting Community to Education
The LNESC Philadelphia team has been working with students in various aspects in their Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math & Science programs. The students are currently working in the areas of coding, financial literacy, and business. The center has just conducted their first coding cohort with the Technolochicas program and will soon be starting on a new program with Coded By Kids. The team continues to provide students with Airpods to assist with better learning environments for them.
The center has also rolled out their Digital Navigator program, which will help students and families in the North Philadelphia community to access free or low cost internet options. This will help with technical issues they may be facing, and provide telephone support to assist residents with finding/applying for any benefits they may need.
For more information visit the LNESC Philadelphia Center website.
LNESC Colorado Springs
LNESC Colorado Springs has been actively working with their students to make sure they are prepared for the New Year with many exciting activities and resources lined up.
To start off, the center will be having advising & counseling sessions, where Zoom and phone sessions are conducted after school, evenings, and weekends. Students interact through one on one sessions or in small groups. Some of the topics include: How to be successful with various eLearning platforms, Keeping education a priority while eLearning, Financial Aid (FAFSA, Student Loans, Grants, etc.), College Resume Writing, Career Planning, Scholarship search, and Study Skills, College Search, etc.
Alongside, the center will be hosting tutoring and financial literacy workshops. This is where students have the opportunity to receive tutoring assistance provided by LNESC through the Tutor.com service. This resource is available 24/7 and many students are taking advantage of this service. LNESC financial literacy workshops will be taking place in January with local business professionals conducting Zoom meetings with students. These workshops will continue through the remainder of the academic year. Topics of discussion will include: Saving for college, Paying for college, Loans (personal and college), How parents can plan and save to help their children with college, Understanding how banks, the stock market, and bonds work, Establishing credit, and Pros and cons of credit cards.
Lastly, SAT/PSAT Test Preparation is going to be offered to all LNESC students through Kaplan. These online courses are designed to help all high school students, whether they are applying for college for the fall semester in2021 or preparing themselves for college enrollment in the future.
For more information visit the LNESC Colorado Springs Center website.
Lideres in Action: Rising Stars of LNESC
As a 2019 Washington Youth Leadership Seminar participant and 2020 Ford Driving Dreams Scholarship recipient, LNESC recognizes Kenedi Houston for her academic success and leadership for this issue’s Lideres in Action segment. Her story demonstrates how LNESC’s programs played an important role in her education and journey in serving her community.
Kenedi is a 2020 graduate of the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet at Townview Center, where she served as Vice President of the National Honor Society, as well as a member of the National Spanish Honor Society. Kenedi has articles published in the Dallas Morning News Storytellers Without Borders. Earlier this year, she was invited by Dallas College to deliver a virtual Commencement Address to inspire her fellow graduates.She was also a member of Townview LULAC Council #1118 throughout high school, gaining leadership experience each year as Chaplain, District 3 Youth Director for Women, and ultimately as President. Kenedi was selected by her local LULAC Council to participate in the 2019 Washington Youth Leadership Seminar.
“Attending the Washington Youth Leadership Seminar was an incredibly transformative experience, and a catalyst for the change I would like to be in the future. This year has shown me the importance of our democracy, and our responsibility to hold everyone accountable in it. As a person of color, I experience firsthand the inequities the United States neglects second-class citizens and outcasts. Being civically engaged in elections, the courts, and the Census are important aspects of the marathon toward progress for us all. We need to address the changing tide we have ridden in such a short period and hold steadfast towards our goals of sailing to a brighter America.”
In the spring of 2020, she was selected as a Ford Driving Dreams Scholarship recipient. This award contributed greatly to her academic success by alleviating financial stress and allowing her to be more actively involved in the college community. She is currently majoring in Communication Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where she will be inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Freshman Honor Society. This semester, Kenedi will serve as the Public Relations Co-Chair for the UT chapter of the National Black Student Lawyers Association. Furthermore, she was accepted into a program to study Urban Economic Development in Cape Town, South Africa through the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement. Ms. Houston explains,
“These opportunities would have been possible if I did not embrace the core values of LNESC".
College Cues: Tips for Student Readiness
Self-Care and Wellness Tips for Students
Due to COVID-19 and for their safety, students can still be found in a virtual setting for their education. For many, this continues to be a challenging adjustment as they balance life at home, their schoolwork, finances, staying mentally/physically healthy, and many other tasks. In an unforeseen future, we constantly have to keep reminding ourselves that we can take a break and do certain things that will refresh us to get back on track. In such instance, we would like to share a few tips that will hopefully be able to assist you on taking care of yourself. They include:
Stay informed, but monitor media intake
It’s important to keep up-to-date about health and safety news. But constantly consuming media can make us feel more anxious, less in control, and less safe. Try limiting your media intake to certain times during the day (e.g., after breakfast), a specific length of time (e.g., 30 minutes twice a day), or certain days (e.g., weekdays only).
If you have a friend or family member who’s in the habit of sending worst-case-scenario news or is prone to sending anxiety-provoking text messages, practice a little emotional distancing. Let them know you sympathize but that you’re taking a break from worrying news, or simply hit the Do Not Disturb button. You can always reconnect when things are calmer.
Try to create a new healthy habit for yourself.
If you’ve been meaning to start exercising or doing yoga, now might be the right time to create a new habit that will get your endorphins flowing. There are tons of workout videos online, and many companies are offering free resources right now.
For source material and more on these tips and on self-care for students during the pandemic, please be sure to click here and here.
Parent Forum: Strategies for Student Success
Tips on How Parents Help Their Student Cope and Thrive During a Pandemic
As we were able to provide tips for the students on self-care, we would like to see parents join them as well. During these difficult times, students need extra support and to know they are not alone. It may be hard on certain days for parents as they also work, take care of more than one child, and keep their home afloat. We can still find many resources and tips that assist parents in a small or big way to ensure their children of all ages can keep succeeding and staying well. These can include:
Recognize and address fear, stress and behavior changes
Young adults might worry about getting sick with COVID-19, and about their loved ones getting sick, too. Excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, and difficulty with attention and concentration are some signs of stress. Encourage them to practice healthy ways to cope with stress.
Teach and reinforce everyday preventive actions
There are actions we can take to protect others, prevent getting sick and slow the spread of COVID-19. Encourage adolescents to be good role models — if they wash their hands often, stay at least 6 feet apart from others, and wear their masks in public spaces to help protect themselves and others, then younger children – and even their peers – are more likely to do the same.
Virtual Field Trips
Many museums and cultural sites have transferred their location into a virtual world for all of us to enjoy from the comfort of our home. Since we want to continue making sure our children are having fun and learning new things, please be sure to check out the metropolitan opera and museums such as the Guggenheim in NYC to the British Museum in London.
For more tips and resources for parents helping their child with self-care, click here and here.
The LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit agency whose mission is to provide the highest quality educational opportunities needed for the development of life-long learners and leaders.
As LULAC's education arm, since 1973 LNESC has provided direct educational services to under-served communities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, serving more than 14,000 students each year. Our educational programs break down the barriers that exist between high-need students and high school diplomas, college degrees, and jobs in highly skilled fields.
Through its network of community-based education centers, LNESC provides educational counseling, scholarships, mentorship, leadership development, literacy, and technology programs.
For more information go to www.lnesc.org.