"Sacramento State welcomed a record crowd of more than 6,000 Latino students and their family members on Saturday, Oct. 13, for the Feria de Educación, a one-day education workshop designed for Spanish speakers looking ahead to a college career.
The free event, now in its sixth year, is a partnership among Sacramento State, California State University and Spanish-language television network Univision. It offers informational workshops, vendor booths, live entertainment and campus tours for K-12 students and their guardians.
Viridiana Diaz, assistant vice president of strategic diversity initiatives, said the 2018 attendance reflected organizers’ goals to continuously evaluate and improve the event.
“The success of this year’s Feria de Educación is the result of five years of assessing the event, its various components, and the needs of our Spanish-speaking community,” Diaz said. “It took a highly dedicated team and the support of many on-campus departments/programs and off-campus agencies/organizations to help host the best Feria de Educación ever seen at Sacramento State.
“We are proud of our campus and the impact it is having in the Spanish-speaking community through this event.”
Christopher Torres, a senior at Liberty Ranch High School in Galt, is one of the thousands of students who attended Feria to learn more about the college admission process.
“I want as much information as possible, since I’m going to be the first one in my family to attend college,” Torres said. “I want to learn more about financial aid, admissions, and how to fill out applications.”
Torres said that information would help him reach his goal of earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology and, eventually, a law degree.
“It is important to empower our Spanish-speaking community whose children will be the first in their families to go to college by introducing them to information and resources that will help advance their lives in a culturally sensitive environment,” Diaz said.
Diaz also said the Feria bridges the cultural gap between Spanish-speaking parents and California’s educational system by providing resources designed to support a higher-education culture in the Latinx population.
Among this year’s highlights was a Transfer Corner that attracted approximately 200 community college students who met with advisors to review transcripts and plan their next steps.
The event included offerings in English and Spanish, including financial aid workshops, assistance navigating the CSU’s online application portal, Cal State Apply, and educational opportunities for undocumented students.
Longtime supporter Unavision lists education as one of its highest priorities.
“We dedicate countless resources to raise awareness and help to reduce the educational-achievement gap," said Steve Stuck, vice president and general manager. "We want to empower Hispanic families so they can succeed in California’s educational system.”
Sacramento State has been designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution, applied to university's with a Latino student population of at least 25 percent. The designation makes campuses eligible for federal grants and other support to help ensure Latino student success.
For more information, visit Feria de Educacion. - Anita Fitzhugh