All posts by Moises Orozco

Moises serves as the Program Coordinator for Parkland Academy Team's Comadre and Compadre Program at Parkland College. The program consists of 61 incoming Latina/o students and 10 Latina/o mentors. He is currently working on completing his Ph.D. degree in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation examines the experiences of Latina/o students at a two-year institution.

Student Mentor Wins Scholarship! Find Yours

Congratulations to Parkland College Latino student mentor Alan Perez Cruz, awarded a Parkland College scholarship!

Over the past six months, Alan (center, in photo) has been a Comadre y Compadre mentor for four incoming Latina/o students at Parkland College. He has played an instrumental role in the program’s effort to increase the persistence rate of Latina/o students. He has done an exceptional job of infusing his previous leadership experience to genuinely connect and refer his mentees to campus resources.

In addition to his employment with the Comadre y Compadre Program, Alan has had to work more than 30 hours a week to support his educational dream of attaining a degree in business administration. He is a highly motivated and driven student. Being a scholarship recipient has provided him the validation that he is on the right path towards achieving his educational dreams. Most importantly, the financial support from this scholarship allows him to devote more time and energy to his academics.

More than $10,000 in scholarship funds are still available for Parkland College students for the spring 2015 semester, and scholarships for the fall semester will be available starting early next month! Please consider checking out the entire list of scholarships at my.parkland.edu under the student services tab.

Join Alan in being a Parkland College scholarship recipient!

Community Engagement in the 505—A Core Value!

Parkland Academy Team’s Comadre and Compadre Program, a college-funded initiative, has exceeded its objective of generating community engagement with district Latino students and parents.

This semester, the Comadre and Compadre Program (CCP) has participated in 10 community outreach events that have been hosted throughout the K-12 pipeline as well as at local community centers. The program connected with well over 380 Latino families and students in Parkland College District 505.

Their outreach events inform Latino students and parents about the numerous opportunities available at Parkland College, ranging from free English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to Parkland’s Pathway Program. During these events, CCP members and coordinators have also fielded questions about financial aid,  scholarships, campus climate, and degree programs, among others.

Iroquois West High School VisitMany interactions with prospective Latino students and their families have taken place at informational events at area schools. Most recently, a Latino student panel consisting of Kenia Gonzalez, Kellyn Cuevas Tovar, and Grascon Torres shared their educational experience at Parkland College to 34 Latino students and parents at Arcola High School. Of those who attended the event, 16 high school seniors expressed a strong interest in applying and enrolling at Parkland College. The furthest outreach event took place at Iroquois West High School in Gilman, Illinois. The program coordinator as well as mentors  and mentees took the 45-minute drive up north on I-57 to interact with 23 Latino students that consisted mostly of juniors and seniors interested in learning about the Parkland College experience.

10565179_10103490042618447_7252181204055092237_n[2]

This type of community engagement is not a program objective to be attained, but a core value. It guides the program’s approach towards providing essential information in Spanish to Latino students and parents about making college a dream come true. More importantly, program mentors and mentees serve as recognizable examples that college is possible despite the existing barriers.

The Comadre and Compadre Program will continue to fulfill its core value of community engagement in the spring 2015 semester.  Program coordinators have already scheduled a visit to Rantoul’s middle school for the month of January.

FullSizeRender

Comadre, Compadre Mentors Shine in KC, MO!

Parkland’s Comadre and Compadre Program mentors and coordinators recently (and successfully) presented their conference proposal, “Meaningful Connection Between Latina/o Students at a Community College in Illinois” at the 2014 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies’ (NACCS) Midwest FOCO Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.

For all the student mentors, this was the first time they attended or presented at a regional conference. Their preparation and passion for the topic moved all of those in attendance. A former college dean called their work “commendable and inspiring.” Another participant called the mentors “rock stars!”

The Comadre and Compadre Program at Parkland College offers individualized mentorship between academically successful Latina/o students with incoming Latina/o students. The program operates under the guidance of program coordinators Moises Orozco and Eduardo Coronel. As of today, the Comadre and Compadre Program has a total of 60 incoming Latina/o students and 10 mentors.

In their roundtable presentation, Comadre and Compadre mentors underscored some important trends and challenges within a rapidly growing Latino student population. They also discussed in detail the impact they are having with their mentees, and they highlighted the uniqueness of working with traditional and nontraditional college-age students.

Students were also able to attend both scholarly and poster presentations. Most importantly, they were able to network with prolific scholars in the field of Chicana/o studies as well as Latino leaders in the community.

The Parkland Academy Team (PAT) received the Parkland’s Inspire, Develop, Engage, Assess, Sustain (IDEAS) Grant last fall, to actively address the low persistence rate of Latina/o students on campus as well as to engage in community outreach. To achieve these two objectives, PAT created the Comadre and Compadre Program.

The mentors viewed their conference experience as extremely motivational and validating of their hard work. They are all eager to submit another proposal to a conference, but this time include the mentees in the presentation, so they can inspire others!

Presenters at NACCS Conference:

Mentors (pictured): Jonathan Mendoza, Wendy Ramírez, Angeles Rivera-Centeno, Alberto (AJ) Jiménez

Coordinators: Moises Orozco, Eduardo Coronel