MAS Conference Helps Address the Achievement Gap for Latino Males
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FULLERTON – Nearly 800 11th and 12th grade males from local high schools will get an introduction to college and career options available to them when Fullerton College hosts the first Males Achieving Success (MAS) Conference on Jan. 27. The conference, which stems from a student equity initiative to help address the achievement gap for Latino males in higher education, will feature empowering workshops from an array of diverse speakers that promote higher education, career exploration and self-development.
“Our hope is that when these male students leave the conference, they’ll have a better understanding of the value of higher education and will be able to identify with some of the speakers, who may have overcome great odds to be where they’re at right now,” said High School Outreach Coordinator Rolando Sanabria.
Spearheaded by the Office of High School Outreach at Fullerton College, MAS is funded by a grant from the Fullerton College Student Equity Plan, and is the first outreach program at FC to target at-risk Latino males from Anaheim, Loera, Katella and Gilbert high schools. Representatives from the outreach program make regular visits to the high school campuses to speak with small groups of students and provide them with resources to prepare for college enrollment.
“The inaugural conference is an extension of the work being done at these schools and extended invitations to all male students throughout multiple high school districts,” Sanabria said.
Conference participants will include students from Anaheim Union, Fullerton Joint Union, Placentia-Yorba Linda, and Whittier school districts. Workshops will cover topics such as, careers in teaching, business and entrepreneurship, nursing and medical careers, and ethnic studies, as well as strategies for excelling in higher education.
A keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Steve A. Mora, orthopedic surgeon and diplomat of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, who grew up in Orange County and attended public school in Anaheim before eventually attending UCI Medical School. An alumnus of Fullerton College, Mora has a history of service to his community, has traveled across the globe on medical mission trips to Peru, and was inducted into the Anaheim High School Hall of Fame. He has been featured on the Spanish-language television show Despierta America and in the Orange County Register.
Sanabria said speakers and workshops were carefully selected to help male students make a personal connection with the presentations, form a network of mentors, and help each student visualize themselves achieving success.