VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University will present “Understanding Hispanic/Latino Students and Fostering Their Success” 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, Hugh C. Bailey Science Center, Room 1011.

The special event is free of charge and open to all students, faculty, staff, alumni, retirees and friends of VSU. Bertha Vazquez, a Miami-Dade County Public Schools educator with more than two decades of teaching experience, will facilitate the discussion, according to a VSU press release. 

“Understanding Hispanic/Latino Students and Fostering Their Success” is sponsored by Mentoring, Engaging, Supporting, and Achievement; College Assistance Migrant Program. The VSU-based initiatives focus on building bridges to higher education, according to the press release. 

MESA is a team of VSU faculty and staff members who are dedicated to helping Hispanic students achieve academic, personal and professional success. The release stated MESA achieves this goal through the development of student mentoring programs, activities that promote student engagement on campus and in the community, organized group and individual academic assistance programs, resources that support students’ personal and economic wellbeing and more. 

Funded by a $2.1 million competitive grant from the United States Department of Education Office of Migrant Education, CAMP is responsible for identifying, recruiting, and retaining students who are migratory or seasonal farmworkers, or the children of the farmworkers, and guiding them throughout their freshman year of college. 

According to VSU, the program serves a total of 25 students each year and gives them the tools necessary to continue being a productive and successful member of the university community throughout their second, third and fourth years of study.

VSU is home to more than 600 Hispanic students, according to the release. 

“They comprise about 5 percent of the student body, bringing a very welcome dimension to the diversity of our campus,” said Dr. Leslie Jones, MESA president and an associate professor in VSU’s Department of Biology.

The release stated that “Understanding Hispanic/Latino Students and Fostering Their Success” is part of VSU’s commitment to providing a diverse student population with an inspired education, a safe learning environment, a nurturing community and a wealth of experience — all with a focus on preparing them to become lifelong learners who will meet the needs of a changing global society.

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