Hispanic outreach program, LULAC empower, teach

Approximately 500 faces made a special appearance on the Sam Houston State University campus this past Saturday in the LSC. The event featured Texas State Board of Regents’ Dora Alcala during the Hispanic outreach event: “Encuentro 2008”.

“Encuentro,” an event hosted in conjunction with LULAC, was a day of fun and learning for Hispanic families, students and residents of Huntsville. They learned how to navigate campus and local government.

“Encuentro” means “encounter” in English.

“It is a Hispanic outreach and integration conference to help Hispanics in the community get accustomed to being a part of the U.S.,” Dr. Caroline Castillo Crimm said.

Dr. Crimm says sometimes Hispanic fathers are hesitant to let their daughters go to a university because of the ideas of troubles and dangers that could be lurking among the campus, such as boys.

“We want to show them there are lots of wonderful women and men at the university, and that it is worthwhile – that they can work hard,” Crimm said. “We want students to realize other options and possibilities, that is what we are trying to do,”

There was another example of a woman who has found the other options in life, as seen by many women of achievement.

“Regent Dora Alcala was a keynote speaker. She had a powerful message for integration,” Crimm said.

Alcala spoke about growing up with her father, who worked hard to teach her the importance of graduating and getting her “little paper”, or as he called it, her “papelito”.

She told her tale of hardship and triumph to success.

“She said, ‘For every bad there is always a good.’ Dora was so inspirational, and to have the story of someone who’s done something that impressive is really amazing. We are so thankful she came to share her message,” Crimm said.

There were speakers for adults on integration, social service, life, poetry, banking and the Internet.

The Kat Club was opened up for teens, where there was music, information on money management, and poetry from groups on campus.

There were also fun-filled rooms and events for kids.

“It was a pretty impressive group. It was a wonderful chance for both high school and college students to get together,” Crimm said. “It was a smashing success!”

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