Hispanic Heritage Month Banners will hang in Evanston mid-September to mid-October as part of an awareness campaign sponsored by Latino Resources.
Latino Resources was founded in July 2013 under the leadership of Dr. Elena Garcia Ansani to increase Latino leadership through student success and civic engagement. This past December, Jasmine Jetton-Gonzales became the Executive Director. Ms. Jetton-Gonzales was born and raised in Evanston and recently earned her Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Illinois, Springfield. As an ISACorps member (IL Student Assistants Commission), she has expertise as a college and career advisor which will be put to use at Latino Resources.
At the core of Latino Resources mission is its work to increase Latino student success through college completion, Ms. Jetton-Gonzales told the RoundTable. Their Scholarship Fund has helped many students stay in college. The program awarded seven scholarships in 2014, 10 in 2015, 11 in 2016 and will award 10 this year at their annual Latino Resources College Scholarship Award Ceremony & Luncheon on Sept. 30 at the Skokie campus of Oakton Community College.
“It can be difficult being a Latino on campus when there are only a few,” said Ms. Jetton-Gonzales. Latino Resources provides their scholars additional support through luncheons where Latino professionals talk to students and help “inspire them to continue in college, finish and get a degree. ... At the end of the day, to increase Latino leadership we must increase Latino leaders with college degrees,” said Ms. Jetton-Gonzales.
Increasing Latino civic participation is the other mission of the organization. The group registers people to vote and provides information on opportunities to be engaged.
“There is more interest in being engaged. People are realizing decisions are being made and they have to participate. Many work nights, two or three jobs. We help them engage in whatever capacity they can.”
Aside from the banner campaign, Latino Resources will celebrate Hispanic Heritage month by participating in Streets Alive on Sept. 10, hosting “make your own piñata, Loteria, and voter registration in front of Washington Elementary School. The group will also host Loteria and voter registration at Fiesta! on Sept. 17 at Kamen Park.
More information about Latino Resources is available at http://latinoresources.org/