New Organization, Latinos Count, Gives Students Helping Hand Towards College

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A newly formed organization aimed to help Latino students succeed is delivering a simple message: Don’t count yourself out.

Steve Corona and Alfredo Perez count spoke with several hundred South Side High School students in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Tuesday about the importance of education after high school and to offer assistance through their new organization Latinos Count, the Journal Gazette reported.

Latinos Count is a nonprofit organization serving Latino students and families in Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana. The goal of the organization is to encourage Latino students to attend college or post-secondary training and to prepare them for global opportunities, Corona said.

“What we know is that there is a direct relationship between what you’re going to earn and learn,” Corona told the Journal Gazette. “We know as the world becomes more and more competitive, those people who have a skill, a degree beyond high school, are going to earn more money generally than people who stop their learning at high school or decide to drop out.”

Corona said the program is not connected with the federal government so undocumented students, or students who immigrated illegally with their families can still receive services without risk.

“We’re really trying to serve all of you, regardless of your status,” Corona told the students.

According to the Journal Gazette, there are as many as 300 students in Allen County who are undocumented and face challenges when it comes to applying for college – even if they’ve lived in Fort Wayne since they were young.

Corona, who is a Fort Wayne Community Schools board member, serves as executive director of Latinos Count. Perez, a South Side graduate, is the board chair.

Corona told the Journal Gazette that Tuesday’s discussion is one of many planned for the coming months as his board begins the process of getting Latinos Count off the ground and moving.


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