October 24, 2013
13-311

Jessica Pope
Communications Specialist

VSU Hosts College Day Experience for Migrant Teens

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University will introduce roughly 100 migrant teens to higher education on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Volunteers from VSU’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages will serve as interpreters as the high school students spend the morning learning about post-secondary education options available to them. The College Day Experience will kick off at 8:30 a.m. with breakfast and include informative breakout sessions, a tour of the campus at noon, led by members of the Latin American Student Association and Air Force ROTC cadets, and lunch in Palms Dining Hall.

The participating migrant teens and their families will have the opportunity to talk to representatives from the Department of English and Department of Mathematics and Computer Science about what academic courses are necessary in high school to ensure success in college, noted Ryan Hogan, associate director of the VSU Office of Admissions. The Office of Financial Aid will have representatives available to discuss options for funding a college education, and the Student Success Center and the First Year Learning Communities will conduct a breakout session regarding what it takes to be successful in college and what resources are available to help students achieve that success. Air Force ROTC representatives will be able to discuss post-secondary options related to military service.

Hogan said that Israel Cortez, regional coordinator of the Georgia Department of Education’s Region 2 Migrant Education Program Office, has arranged transportation for the teens and their families, who live throughout Middle and South Georgia.

The child of migrant farmworkers, Cortez was just 10 years old when his family fled Mexico in search of a better life and more educational opportunities in America. He attended school, while working in the fields on weekends and holidays and during times when he did not have any homework, and went on to graduate from VSU with a bachelor’s degree in foreign language education in 2002 and a master’s degree in educational leadership a little later. He earned his American citizenship and hopes to help other migrant families realize that the path to a better life for their children, a life beyond the fields, begins with the pursuit of knowledge.

Contact Ryan Hogan at (229) 333-5791 or rmhogan@valdosta.edu to learn more.