Finding higher education in the Latino community

SJCC student encourages other minority students to keep going with their education

Viridiana Castellanos, Staff Writer

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“When I started my very first English as a Second Language class at SJCC , I thought I would find a lot of Latino students in my class, but I was in for a big surprise when I realized I was the only Latino student,” said Margot Uchicua.

Uchicua, a current San Jose City College student, photographs students from Latin America whose English is their second language and who are pursuing a higher education.

She is a Peruvian student who came to the United States in 2013, and is now majoring in graphic design aiming to transfer to Cal Poly.

She was shocked to find out that “the Latino population; the big minority in this country, only few were attending college.”

Uchicua came up with the project idea where the aim is to encourage Latino students to keep going with their education by displaying other minority students in their situations

Then, she adds script to the photographs and includes name, place of birth, major, and sometimes whether they are dreamers or not.

The term “dreamers” refers to individuals in the U.S. who were brought to this country at an early age without any documentation but have assimilated to this country‟s culture and have been educated by the U.S. school systems.

“I think the project is pretty cool because it‟s sort of going against the whole „Hispanics/Latinos don’t go to college because they can‟t handle it‟ stereotype,” said Maria Briseno, who is majoring in Business Management and was part of Uchicua‟s project.

“ All the students who are part of my project are a great example of overcoming, and perseverance. some of them are first generation to attend college, and for all of them English is their second language,” said Margot.

She believes that the Latino community is playing an important role in different areas of this country; such as economic, social and political. Therefore it is crucial to pursue a college education and create a big impact in society.

Margot is looking for more students to photograph, she wants to expand her project and have more role models for other students.

If you want to be part of this project email her at [email protected]

“I want to show them that we all can move forward,” Margot said, “ I know it is hard, and sometime we feel like giving up, but there is no success if there isn’t any sacrifice.”