Latino Role Models Day 2017

Latino boys at Role Models Day

LASER’s Latino Role Models Day 2017 offered nearly 500 Latino high school students the chance to hear from undergraduate and graduate students and community members from a wide-range of occupations as well as faculty from The Ohio State University, Otterbein University, and Columbus State Community College. Throughout the day, visiting students had small group sessions with roles models, took a tour of the Ohio State campus, and listened to keynote speaker, Eric J. Garcia, a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Latino artivist who works with different media, including political cartoons, to raise social and political awareness.

Besides Mr. Garcia, one of the highlights for the high school students was a panel of current Ohio State Latino undergraduate students who came from similar situations, backgrounds, and experiences. The panelists were asked about being a first-generation student – many students participating in Latino Role Models Day will be the first in their family to attend college – and what challenges that might present. Students also asked about community colleges, being admitted as a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) student and what were panelist’s favorite foods from their cultures. There was also networking with role models as well as workshops on pathways to college and DACA.

The panelists stated that attending college was demanding – but rewarding – work. Having come this far, attendees were told they could still go farther; each only had to decide if he or she wanted to work hard enough to go to college and receive a degree that can open the door to many possibilities. The panel opened their eyes to the many different opportunities that are available to them.

“Latino Role Models Day is possible because of the many supporters from the campus and the community. Our partners at Cardinal Health were with us when we initially conceived the event, and thanks to the generous support from the College of Dentistry and the Multicultural Center, the program has continued to thrive,” said Professor Frederick Aldama, founder and director of LASER.