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2023 Feria de Educacion offers higher-education resources to Hispanic-speaking students and their families

More than 1,200 Spanish-speaking students and their families attended the annual Feria de Educacion to learn about programs, scholarships, and other resources to support their educational goals. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

Mariachi music greeted Spanish-speaking students and their families on Oct. 7 as they stepped from buses and headed toward Sac State’s Serna Plaza, site of the annual Feria de Educacion.

Outside in the plaza and inside the University Union Ballroom, junior high, high school, and community college students from across Northern California received support and inspiration to pursue their academic dreams.

Students learn about campus resources at Feria de Educacion.
Feria de Educacion attendees participated in workshops, toured campus, learned about admissions and financial aid, and spoke with representatives from dozens of private and public colleges and universities. (Sacramento State/Analy Carrillo)

“Welcome to your home, Sacramento State.” Erik Ramirez, director of the University’s Equity and Affinity Centers, said in Spanish and English. “Our goal is to help students achieve their educational goals and make college a reality.”

As a federally recognized Hispanic Serving Institution, Sac State hosts the education resource fair each year to bring more Spanish speakers into college. Nearly a third of the University’s students identify as Hispanic, and they are earning their degrees at a higher rate than ever, as Sac State improves its graduation rates year by year.

More than 1,200 students and their family members are estimated to have attended the fair this year. They participated in workshops, took campus tours, and received information about admissions and financial aid. Representatives of dozens of private and public colleges and universities offered information and answered questions.

Belinda Avelino of Stockton and her son Daniel heard about the fair on Univision, one of the event’s sponsors. They were most interested in learning about scholarships to help fund Daniel’s pursuit of a degree in mechanical engineering.

“It’s a relief,” said Belinda Avelino, “because finances are what we consider a barrier to him getting his education.”

After discussing options with experts at the event, “I feel more inspired and hopeful,” Daniel said.

Sac State President Luke Wood, who holds two degrees from Sac State, said the University “is the exact opposite of what some might consider an ivory tower,” disconnected from its students and the community.

“Every single student has the support that they need to walk across the stage” at Commencement, he said. “I know from personal experience that Sac State will see you as an individual worthy of care and attention.”

Carlos Flores of Stockton, who attended the event with his father, also named Carlos, was gathering resources about transferring from a community college to a four-year institution.

The younger Flores, who is interested in a career in social services, received information about transfer requirements and financial aid, among other things, at the fair. He also took time to admire Sac State’s canopy of trees and its buildings.

“It’s quite a lovely campus,” he said.

Marco Rodriguez, a Business student who received a $1,000 scholarship at the event, said he has succeeded in college in part because of Sac State’s efforts to clear barriers for Hispanic students. A first-generation college student, he is receiving help from the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), among other resources.

“Without CAMP, I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” said Rodriguez, who aspires to earn a master’s degree and work in finance and real estate. “Attending Sac State was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Feria de Educacion event attendees enjoy mariachi music.
A mariachi band was among the festivities during the annual Feria de Educacion event. (Sacramento State/Analy Carrillo)


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About Cynthia Hubert

Cynthia Hubert came to Sacramento State in November 2018 after an award-winning career writing for the Sacramento Bee. Cynthia believes everyone has a good story. She lives in East Sacramento with her two cats, who enjoy bird-watching from their perch next to the living-room window.

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