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“Pasos al Futuro”: Getting the Most out of Hillsborough County Public School Education & Beyond

October 16, 2017

Imagine moving to a country to provide the best opportunities and educational options for you and your family, but not knowing the first steps to take while working through the language barrier and cultural barriers. Hillsborough County Schools provides Bilingual School Counseling Services that can be the guiding light for these families—providing support to Hispanic families of all backgrounds, called Pasos al Futuro.

For the next two months, Pasos al Futuro will provide information to bilingual families to ensure that students are getting the most out of their Hillsborough County Public School education. The information and resources will be provided in Spanish at six different high schools throughout the county with the intent to provide that missing piece families are looking for when it comes to furthering their child’s education. Often times Spanish is the primary language in the household, with the student translating in English. The presentation is designed to ease their mind through the overwhelming process and break through the cultural and language barriers.

“The presentation is about the whole family, not just the child. We want parents to learn how to advocate for their child, know what questions to ask and include the child in the decision-making,” said Tania Marrero González, district bilingual school counselor.

Students from 8th to 12th grade are encouraged to attend along with their parents and/or guardians. Each session will kick off with an education fair, with Pasos al Futuro inviting organizations and business that work together with the school district to provide services that will benefit our students and families. From there, attendees can join the session geared toward 8th-10th graders, setting the stage in preparation for their post-secondary education. Or attend the 11th – 12th grade session, which provides students and families with the steps that need to be taken now before it is too late to apply for post-secondary opportunities.

Karina Paz Salazar, a senior at Durant High School learned about Pasos al Futuro through her supportive Migrant Advocate, Mr. Jorge Salmeron.

“I took my parents to the Pasos al Futuro presentation so that they could be more informed on what it takes for me to get into college, I learned about financial aid, how to challenge myself and how to stay active in school with extra-curricular activities,” said Paz Salazar.

The presentations will focus on four basic areas:

  1. Prepare: What steps to take in school to prepare for a college education.
  2. Search: Provide research tools to find the best college to meet the needs of that student. Are you looking for a small college environment, or a diverse setting?
  3. Apply: Learn how the admissions process works at each college and what degrees are offered in a post-secondary education.
  4. Pay: Learn how colleges calculate their tuition, how to apply for financial aid, scholarships and gain insight on private, federal and state money available to eligible students.

The presentation will end with a question and answer (Q&A) session and a student panel. The panel will include bilingual Hillsborough Community College and University of South Florida students sharing their transition from high school to college, life experiences, and how they have overcome their struggles.

Evening Sessions: 6:00pm to 8:00pm

October 26th Jefferson High School
November 2nd Lennard High School
November 9th Strawberry Crest High School
November 16th Plant City High School
November 30th Alonso High School

 

CLICK HERE to learn more.

 

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