On the afternoon of Jan. 30, Dr. Elena Garcia Ansani welcomed visitors to the spacious office on the ground floor of the Morton Civic Center that she has termed “Latino Resources 3.0.” She described the evolution: “In 2000, we were the Bilingual Services Providers Exchange. In 2008, we became the Evanston Coalition for Latino Resources, and in 2014 we officially became Latino Resources.”
The twofold mission of Latino Resources – to increase Latino student success and Latino civic participation – is reflected on the office walls: posters encouraging Latinos to register to vote and pictures of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations and of the 2014 scholarship awardees.
Emmanuel Patino, a recipient of a Latino Resources scholarships, is studying at Oakton Community College. He plans to continue his education after Oakton, majoring in Spanish and American Sign Language, and to become a high school teacher.
“We need to do more to encourage our Latino community to get involved,” said Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “I hope that this office is going to be the beginning of lots of good things.”
Angela Hotca-Roos said she joined the Latino Resources board because of Dr. Garcia Ansani’s passion for education. “Bringing the word that education is nearby is wonderful. … Latino Resources will do it one child at a time, and spreading the word will help Latino Resources accomplish what we want to accomplish. I thought by getting involved, it would help – and I’m very proud of it,” she said.