On Friday, Jan. 24, Una Mano Amiga (A Helping Hand), a peer-mentoring program, hosted a workshop in the Multipurpose Room at Salt Lake Community College’s South City Campus.
The purpose of these workshops is to provide support to Hispanic students in achieving their academic goals, as well as to help prospective students in their transition to college through a mentoring system.
“We have ways to tackle many problems that may hinder your advance in your studies,” says SLCC Advising Director Sonia Parker. “However, you have to do your part. You have to be strategic in finding and using those resources available.”
Parker indicated that issues like money, educational resources and time are among the many concerns students have when pursuing a college degree.
During the workshop, Luz Gamarra, an academic advisor at SLCC and Joel Romero, peer leader of Una Mano Amiga and student at SLCC, introduced several speakers who offered a comprehensive layout of different educational resources available to students.
Jose Libardo Rivera, a Spanish-speaking radio host, urged workshop participants to work hard in their studies so they can have a better future.
“SLCC has all the necessary resources for you to succeed,” says Rivera.
Rivera, who holds a Business degree, said that the education he received opened doors for him in his professional career. He encouraged students to use all resources available to get an education that allows them to have a better quality of life.
Pam Brooks, assistant director of the financial department, shared about financial aid that some students may not be aware of and how there is a non-federal financial assistance available for undocumented students.
“[The migratory status] is confidential and that information is not shared with anybody,” says Brooks.
Brooks noted that the process to request financial aid is usually complicated and confusing which she encouraged students to visit the office and ask questions.
Cynthia Bonsall, assistant director at the SLCC’s Academic Advising Office, said that even for international students there is some limited, but useful financial assistance.
Nina Frias, from the Department of Education and Community Affairs at the Mexican Consulate in Utah, added that there are resources available for Mexican nationals looking to further their education.
“We have GED classes, scholarships and we provide information for those who qualify for the DACA program,” Frias says.
Frias indicated that the Mexican Consulate annually distributes $45,000 in different programs and scholarships to help Mexican nationals to pursue a college education.
Pablo Granados, manager of a Wells Fargo branch office and current SLCC student, said that Wells Fargo offers opportunities for tuition reimbursement and scholarships to students.
“The bank can give you all the financial assistance so you can complete your school,” says Granados.
Workshop moderator Joel Romero pointed out that education is not a luxury; therefore, students must work hard to finish their studies to improve their conditions of living.
“An informed student becomes a successful student,” said Romero.
Romero concluded the workshop by urging current and prospective students to take advantage of what they learned at the workshop and to continue learning about the educational resources available at SLCC to achieve their goals.