bridges for Latina students
Jasmine Schoonmaker, a senior at Fairview High School,
is leaning toward a career in engineering or science. But shes
not sure which options would work best for her.
Thats why she enjoyed the most recent Latinas
Building Bridges in Education conference. The event, held at UCAR
on 23 April, gave middle and high school Latina girls a chance
to pair up with professional women and get a preview of the working
Its great to see how much people love
their jobs, Jasmine said as HRs Nancy Wade introduced
her to people in the organization. I like seeing how peoples
personalities match their work.
Some 58 students signed up for the event. They
shadowed their mentors in the workplace and attended workshops
on such topics as job interviewing techniques and coping with
peer pressure in high school. A luncheon at Center Green featured
introductory remarks by NCAR director Tim Killeen in both Spanish
and English and a keynote address by Ofelia Miramontes, the vice
chancellor for diversity at CU.
This was the third annual conference organized
by the Boulder County Latina Womens League, which seeks
to help Latina girls and women with educational and career opportunities.
It was the first time UCAR hosted the event.
Were doing our share to make sure the
girls are being prepared, says Teresa Rivas of the Atmospheric
Chemistry Division, who chairs the leagues conference committee.
We want to emphasize to them that college is within their
grasp. The goal is to put the girls in the company of really positive
role modelswomen with established careerswho can tell
them about the drawbacks and some of the things to watch for,
but above all who can show the girls that they can accomplish
Dorothy Bustamante of the Scientific Computer Division,
who co-chaired the event, says shes received fantastic feedback
from students and mentors alike. She is particularly pleased that
the middle-school girls who attend the conference often talk about
setting their sights on eventually going to college instead of
ending their studies to get married and start a family. This is
significant, she says, in light of Census Bureau figures indicating
Hispanic girls have the highest dropout rate among female students
of any ethnic group.
After they come and hear some of the presenters
and go to some of the workshops, theyre saying, Hey,
maybe I will stay in school, she says.
in this issue:
the midnight hour: BAMEX takes aim at dangerous night storms
long riders: How some staffers cope with epic commutes
finds lower atmosphere warming
Question: Publications on the Web