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Georgia colleges seek to fill Latino student needs

Friday, October 22, 2021 - 7:55am
Georgia Gwinnett College student Alejandro Osorio hands a name tag to Melissa Hernandez from HYPE (Hispanic Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs). She was attending a networking event Tuesday that is part of the HACER (Hispanic Achievers Committed to Excellence in Results) program. HACER is a living/learning initiative for Latino students, and Tuesday’s event let students meet and network with representatives from corporations. PHOTOS BY MIGUEL MARTINEZ FOR THE AJC

Helping them succeed in classroom, connect culturally on campus has become part of the mission of several of the state’s colleges and universities.

More than two dozen Hispanic Georgia Gwinnett College students gathered in a ballroom on campus last Tuesday for a networking session with local business and community leaders called “Noche de Liderazgo” or “Night of Leadership.”

First-year student Brian Catalan attended, hoping to network and to find his footing on campus.

Catalan, 19, a native Georgian whose parents are from Guatemala, felt he needed a stronger connection with his Hispanic heritage.

He recognized a few years ago he was saying some words around his parents in English that he once said in Spanish.

“I sort of felt like I drifted,” he said.

For Georgia Gwinnett officials, the goal of this event and others is to help students like Catalan succeed in the classroom and connect culturally on campus. It has become part of the mission of several Georgia colleges and universities.

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