Hundreds of local Latino and Latina high school students recently participated in an outreach conference held on Cuesta College’s North County campus.

On Friday, March 22, 275 students from 12 local high schools attended “Edúcate – Sí Se Puede.” Participants enjoyed a day full of motivational speakers, gained valuable information on college entrance preparation methods and instructions on applying for financial aid. Students also heard from Cuesta College faculty and experienced mini-classes in emergency medical technician training, welding, biology, physical science, accounting, criminal justice, and career exploration

“The goal was to expose participants to a wide variety of careers and majors and inspire them to see themselves in a different light,” said registration coordinator and Student Support Site Specialist Gabriela Lopez. “’ Sí Se Puede’ means ‘Yes, We Can’ and the intent was to show these students that college is within their reach and Cuesta College will help get them there.”

The event was put on by the Cuesta College Latina Leadership Network and featured keynote speaker Dean Florez, the grandson of Central Valley farm laborers.  Florez is president of the 20 Million Minds Foundation, which seeks to reduce the rapidly growing cost of an education by making electronic textbooks widely available. 

“Throughout the day students were introduced to individuals who shared their life stories and the challenges they had to overcome to be where they are today,” said event coordinator Glenda Moscoso. “Students left the event inspired to discover their own passions and determined to seek out opportunities for higher education.”

According to the Current Population Survey done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people with only a high school degree earn on average $652 per week. Those with an associate’s degree earn an average of $785 weekly, while $1,066 per week is earned on average by those with a bachelor’s degree.

The conference was sponsored by Cal-SOAP, Wells Fargo, Cuesta College Superintendent/President Gil Stork, Office of Vice President of Student Services and College Centers, Cuesta College Career Technical Education, Cuesta College Foundation, Office of the Executive Dean of the North County Campus and South County Center, and Cuesta College Counseling.

There are plans to host the conference again in spring 2014.

Lauren Milbourne | (805) 546-3108 | Email: | Posted March 28, 2013