By: Jaime Alicea III
On Friday October 30th, a large crowd gathered in the STEM Building, to attend workshops of prominent Latino speakers who looked to help the Latino movement move forward. The event brought keynote speakers such as Senator Raymond Lesniak and the founding father of Lambda Theta Phi (Latino Fraternity), Agustin Garcia. The Latino’s Moving Forward event was held to celebrate Latino diversity for Hispanic Heritage Month, while also having many informal workshops to help teach Latino youths and adults to succeed and gain knowledge from accomplished Latino speakers.
Workshops varied from: “Teaching Latinos how to avoid and prevent medical fraud in the health system”, “How more Latinos can become home owners”, ‘Making New Jersey more immigrant friendly through policy change”, and “The fight for Latinos to be provided with higher education”.
The Fight for Latino’s in Higher education workshop proved to be very knowledgeable, as the Senior Counselor for the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program at Rutgers University, Engelbert Santana, spoke of the challenges Latinos have faced throughout the decades and how we must push forward to open up more doors for the Latino communities.
“Latinos are the 2nd most discriminated group after African Americans, and are more likely to be part time students or not students at all because they understand that they have to go out and get jobs to help out their families. Latinos today still have major issues getting into colleges, and if these policy makers really want to change the issues plaguing Latino’s and even African Americans they must address the core issue between these two groups and that is Poverty” said Santana.
Another workshop that benefitted the Latinos in attendance was the Home ownership and Fair Practices workshop, which provided an in depth look on how the homeowner industry has changed and the opportunities that can now be available to the Latino communities. The workshop was run by Hector Alvarez with Mortgage Unlimited. LLC, an accomplished Latino whose dream is to work with community leaders to establish opportunities for those less fortunate.
“What my mortgage Unlimited colleagues and I are trying to create is a movement to helping lower income Latinos create wealth, own homes, and help the Latino communities. Everyone has their own idea of what the American Dream is but you have to start with a home. The American Dream is the financial freedom that you gain once you get educated in home ownership, and a home is your first stepping stone to your pursuit of the American dream” said Alvarez.
If these workshops have shown anything, it’s that the Latino Movement is only getting stronger and with perseverance we can succeed to even greater heights in this great nation.