For the third year in a row, Cuesta College and the Latina Leadership Network will host Educate – Si Se Puede, an outreach conference for local Latina and Latino high school students. The conference will be held on Friday, March 21, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on the college’s San Luis Obispo Campus in Building 5400, Room 5401. Organizers expect more than 200 participants from approximately a dozen San Luis Obispo County high schools. The students will hear from motivational speakers, obtain information on college entrance preparation methods, be provided instructions on applying for financial aid and enjoy a free lunch.

“For some students, this will be their first time visiting a college campus, and we are excited to provide these students with that opportunity,” said Dean of Student Services Nohemy Ornelas. “The event will expose students to inspiring Latino mentors and leaders, and we hope students leave knowing that college is for everyone.”

The event will feature keynote speaker Ricardo Valencia, a UC Berkley graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Ethnic Studies and a minor in Education. Valencia currently lives in Santa Maria where he teaches US, World, and Chicano/Latino Studies at Santa Maria Joint Union High School, his alma mater.

“Richard Valencia is an enthusiastic and motivating speaker who connects immediately with students,” said Latina Leadership Network President Diane Limon. “He not only encourages students to go to college but also inspires them to get involved in the community and take pride in their culture."

Students can register to attend through March 7, 2014, by visiting For more information, please contact Glenda Moscoso at (805) 546-3100 ext. 2333.

Event sponsors include Wells Fargo, Cuesta College’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs, the offices of the college’s Vice President of Student Services and Executive Dean of the North County Campus and South County Center, the Cuesta College Foundation and the Latina Leadership Network.

Lauren Milbourne / (805) 546-3108 / / Posted: 3/5/14