1 Million Dollar Scholarship for undocumented

Standford University takes the Dreamer a step further!  There are pockets of scholarships for undocumented students but they are rarely published so you have to ask.




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New Study of the Crisis of the Latino Dropout rate

According to a new report commissioned by the Alternative Schools Network, more Latinos have seen joblessness rise and wages fall in Chicago with more high school dropouts, even as the ethnicity’s power in the voting booth continues to rise. You can find the link www.asnchicago.org



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Achievement Gap continues to affect Latinos

If we don’t address the achievement gap in our schools, Latinos will not be able to compete and  fill the jobs of the future.

Take a look at how the achievement gap shows up in the Chicago Suburbs.


School report cards: Hispanic ‘achievement gap’


Suburban schools work to close Hispanic ‘achievement gap’




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New Futuro

So proud of what New Futuro has done! This is a great website!  Check it out.






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Julian Castro address the nation and mentions Cafe College

Last night Julian Castro,  the Mayor of San Antonio addressed the Democratic National Convention  praises President Obama’s support for Pell grants, DREAM Act. He also mentioned Cafe College,  a great idea  working in San Antonio, Texas.  As you enter the website find Julian encouraging you to go to college.  Check it out!

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New website to help with Financial Aid!



I just saw the new website the United States government has reformatted just for you!  I find it is  easy to navigate and gives you so much information on way to get yourself to college.

It covers the three main steps to make your dreams come true.

  1. Prepare in high school and in life
  2. Apply to college
  3.  Pay for college

“We want to give students and parents the information they need to make smart and affordable education choices. A big part of that is educating people on the most affordable way to finance a college education: federal student aid,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “This new, easy-to-understand website will help families better navigate the process of planning and paying for college. And it will help students manage their loan payments after they graduate so they avoid falling into default.”

It is a great improvement on the past confusing sites.  Tell me what you think!

Student Aid

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Start paying your Student Loan

This is a great discussion on  Student Loan debt.  Remember that it is the best investment you are going to make.  Most people have to finance their education in order to pay the high costs of a college.  Take the time to learn how your student loan works. Great discussion on the student loan crisis with Robert Reich.

Student Loan

Check out Rebecca Jarvis from CBS who covers this topic with practical advise.  Take notes!

Practical advise about your student loans

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Procrastination GO AWAY

I’m back my chicas!

I have been on vacation for a couple of days and have put of the fact that I need to write a post for you!  Once you lose your rhythm it is difficult to get back into it. I spend all of Monday entranced with watching chapter after chapter of Downton Abbey! I am surprised at myself but Downton Abbey was all I wanted to do during the latest heat wave we suffered here in Chicago.  I have delayed the writing for too long and had to resort to the best way I know to get back into deadlines and getting things done.  It is a technique called time boxing, you put a box of time and get going.  I have to box myself into the discipline of getting this out to you.  This technique always has worked for me and I hope it does for you.

Time Boxing for you.

  1. Get a timer. Set it so you can see it.
  2. Set an amount of time you are willing to work on the task.
  3. Force yourself to work for a limited amount of time no excuses.  I have set aside 30 minutes to write the first draft and then I can go do something I love. Not that I don’t love advising you on how to achieve your greatest dream of going to college.  Thank God I finished Downton Abbey but the web calls me with Facebook, twitter and playing with my new app called cinemagram.
  4.  Start writing and don’t think it has to be perfect! Don’t be too hard on yourself, just something on paper.
  5.  When the trimer sounds– make a decision.  It might be that you are close to finishing it and you just continue for a while longer or give yourself permission to get up and take a break.  Most of the time, the hard part is to get going and once the first half hour is done, you have something to show for yourself. And I am getting close to posting this.

So how do you overcome procrastination?  What would you add the technique? Time Boxing has served me well in the past and it worked once again!

I am preparing a post on Financial Aid and where to go for some great information.

Another quick question, do you think I should write my posts in Spanish?  I have polled my readers and your opinion will help me make a decision. Become a member and don’t miss the upcoming posts. Write to me at EducateLatina.com


Ana Maria Soto

La College Guru @Latinasmart

Join me on EducateLatina.com  Weekly posts on living the dream of going to college! Get your questions answered.  I am here for you and will help you.

@anamariasoto  This twitter feed you will find articles on art, photography architecture, leadership and politics and more.

https://www.facebook.com/EducateLatina You will find a stream of interesting articles and advise from around the web.

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Common Core Standards are here and you need to know what they are!

There is a revolution in education and students, parents and teachers need to get with it! Have you heard of the Common Core Standards? The Common Core Standards set up a single set of clear educational standards for English language arts and mathematics for each grade level. Teachers are getting ready to implement these standards in the classroom in the coming years. As a parent and a student you need to know what they are and how they affect you. The most exciting piece of this is that these new standards are designed to make sure that students graduating from high school are prepared for college, work and success in the global economy. More on this in the NCLR report “Raising the Bar: Implementing Common Core State Standards for Latino Success. The mission of this movement involves having clear, understandable and consistent Standards students need to master in each grade so that teachers and parents know what they need to help them. As a student or as a parent you need to take a look at the expectations for the coming year. Click here for the official Common Core standards Initiative, an awesome website with all the information you need to know.

Yesterday I attended a really interesting lecture from the Latino Policy Forum called “Supporting the Success of Latino Students: the New Standards” by Dr. Aida Walqui. One of her main points is parents and students need to understand the economic need to attend college. Without at least some college, students will not be able to compete in the global economy. At the meeting the Latino Policy Forum released a new report: Shaping Our Future, Building a collective Latino K-12 Education Agenda. It is the roadmap and the research that we need to move ahead.

We all need to make education an obsession for our Latino community.

Advise of the week:

• Make a copy of the Common Core Standards for each grade you are going to study.

• Parents, students and teachers together have a step by step plan to make your goals

• Knowing what teachers expect to cover in the coming years will give you the guidelines to help your student or yourself.

• Knowing the standards will help you when you talk to a teacher about how you are progressing.

• The new standards are geared to make sure that you are prepared for your dream of college and to be successful not only locally but globally.

The more you know, the better you are so take a look at the Common Core Standards.


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New rules for undocumented students announced

Last Friday the news started to trickle out that President Obama had an executive order to defer action on the deportation of young undocumented students.  It was with joy that many of us received this news.  It has been 10 years since the Dream Act was proposed in the United States Senate by Senator Durbin. It is about time something be done on such a travesty.  It is a stop band-aid measure and what we need is comprehensive immigration reform pero algo es algo.

Through the years we have followed the twists and turns of this proposal and long awaited reform.  As educators we have long faced the injustice of the systems that excludes people.  It’s tough to be undocumented and to keep the faith in a country that wants to deport you if they find you. I have seen so many young people losing hope because they are undocumented and this gives us some hope. Some of the most outstanding driven students I know are undocumented. I have held hands and cried with people desperate to go to school and contribute to the United States but can’t because of a number.  I remember a couple of students that discover to their shock that they are undocumented when they applied to college.   Imagine living in a world that you can be caught and torn from your family at any moment.  It still bothers me that the Obama administration stepped up the deportation of one million people in the last 3 years. I am not naïve to understand that the November election played into this decision.  The Latino vote is critical in many swing states  so let’s continue flexing our muscle for the things we want.

Under this directive, individuals who demonstrate that they meet the following criteria will be eligible for an exercise of discretion, specifically deferred action, on a case-by-case basis:

1) Came to the United States under the age of 16;

2) Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;

3) Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;

4) Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;

5) Are not above the age of 30. (From government website)

If you are undocumented student or know someone, pass this advice along.

  • Proceed with caution. It is still very early in the process so ask a lot of questions before you proceed.  This is a temporary measure for only two years. Official information from government click here.
  • Document your presence in the US. Take a class, take some photos etc.
  • Check with a lawyer.  Many people take the advice of friends and family members that might not know what they are talking about.  It is money well spent to consult a lawyer, a real lawyer, not a notario or others.
  • Keep going to school.  If you think about it, this is a reward for staying in school.  Get your GED if you don’t have a high school diploma.  There are programs in your area that can help you.
  • Find at least a class and enroll.  This will look very favorable in your application and you can prove that you were here.  Great time to perfect your English to thrive in the US.

Buena suerte and know that continuing in school will mark the difference in your life no matter what happens.

Ana Maria Soto



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