This week, 48 students from Catholic schools in Los Angeles, partnering with the Catholic School Advantage Campaign (CSA), an initiative of the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE), will participate in a community forum on Hispanic education at the University of California, Los Angeles.
The forum kicks off Univisión’s third annual Education Week and highlights the television network’s national campaign, ¡Es El Momento! (The Time is Now), aimed at improving academic achievement among Latino students in K-12 schools.
Twelve Catholic schools will be represented at the forum—ten elementary schools that work directly with the CSA campaign’s field consultant in Los Angeles, Sylvia Armas-Abad, and two East L.A. Catholic high schools.
In addition, the forum will give ten of these students the opportunity to speak on behalf of their schools and ask questions of the panelists whose focus will be on how to increase Latino educational attainment, assist with college financing, and pursue pathways to higher education.
A one-hour webcast, in English, will be streamed live from the community forum on Friday, Oct. 4, at 3:00 p.m. EDT (12:00 p.m. PDT). The entire town hall, conducted predominately in Spanish, will be aired on local Univisión television stations around the country on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 4:00 p.m. EDT on the program El Futuro Es Hoy.
Univisión Communications, a leading media company serving Hispanic America, launched the national education initiative, ¡Es El Momento!, in 2010, with special focus on increasing high school graduation rates, college readiness and completion, and the engagement of both Hispanic parents and the broader community in these efforts. The ¡Es El Momento! campaign is conducted in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and various other community, education, and civil rights organizations from around the country.
Six students from Salesian High School and six students from Sacred Heart High School, schools in East L.A. that draw graduates from schools with partnerships in ACE’s Catholic School Advantage campaign, took part in one of the roundtable discussions and will represent Catholic schools in the Oct. 5 program.
Sylvia Armas-Abad, who, in addition to serving as the CSA campaign’s field consultant in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, is also a native of East L.A. and a product of K-12 Catholic education, has been instrumental in preparing these students for the opportunity to speak in both the forum and the roundtable discussion. For the past 20 years, Sylvia has dedicated her work to advocating for the educational needs of Latino students, especially in the inner-city. In her role with the campaign, she works with a cohort of Catholic elementary schools to help them implement new and innovative recruitment and marketing strategies and better respond to the needs of the Latino community.
In conjunction with the events surrounding ¡Es El Momento! and Education Week, Univisión will air a segment focusing specifically on Catholic schools in Los Angeles on the network news program, Aquí y Ahora, Sunday, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m. EDT. The segment will feature interviews with Sylvia Armas-Abad and Archbishop José Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, among other supporters of increased access to Catholic schools for Latino children.
“Working with both our Catholic high school and Catholic elementary students these last few weeks in preparation for the Univision Town Hall meeting has been a beautiful reminder of the importance and urgency of the Catholic School Advantage campaign,” said Armas-Abad. “This experience really deepens my commitment to share the gift of Catholic schools with the Latino community and continue to break down the barriers that keep them from enrolling their children in our schools.”
Photo: On Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 6 young men from Salesian High School and 5 young women from Sacred Heart High School participated in a roundtable discussion, with Maria Hurtado from Univision (pictured here with the students), focused on issues that impact college readiness for Latino students. Footage from this taped roundtable will be featured during the Town Hall telecast on Univision on Saturday, October 5, 2013.