padres e hijos

Padres e Hijos in 2016. The program is being revived this year due to funding from the Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity and Community. (Photo/Courtesy Amanda R. Sale)

The University of Georgia is relaunching a program to recruit more Latinx and Hispanic students. The program aims to make information and resources more available for underrepresented high school seniors.

The purpose of Padres e Hijos, a bilingual program, is to help high school students and their parents understand the college admissions process. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will talk about applications, essays and financial literacy during the program.

Padres e Hijos has played a key role in past years to help prospective Latinx students and their families learn about the admissions process, said Amanda R. Sale, UGA’s interim executive director for undergraduate admissions, in an email to The Red & Black.

“I am thrilled that we’re relaunching this program because it fills a needed gap in our role with the community,” Sale said. “As a flagship institution, I’m excited that we have the opportunity to serve students and their families and to demystify the college admissions process.”

A grant from the Goizueta Foundation, which provides financial assistance to educational organizations, founded the original program in 2006, which ended in 2016 due to funding limitations. UGA’s Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity and Community has now provided $30,000 to reestablish the program in the fall.

UGA plans to work with community-based organizations and students who may have attended one of UGA’s GEAR UP programs. In addition to reaching out to local competitive high school students, Padres e Hijos will offer information in both English and Spanish so it can be accessible to both students and their parents.

Melanie Cruz, a junior marketing major, took a campus tour when she came to visit UGA for the first time. She said it was difficult to translate everything that was going on to her parents and then go back to listening to the tour. Cruz said the tour was not as enjoyable as it could have been because she was worried about making sure her parents felt involved and informed as well.

“I was once a student touring UGA with my parents, and it was vocally welcoming for me but not for them just because it wasn't in their language; and they really felt, like, this sense of imposter syndrome,” Cruz said.

Cruz said a program like Padres e Hijos shows that UGA wants to bring in more culture and diversity to campus. She said it's refreshing to see UGA not only talking about bringing in more Latinx students, but also actually taking steps to do it.

Ruth Figueroa, a senior psychology and biology major, participated in Padres e Hijos in 2016. She said she thought the program was great, but she wishes the program would implement more about the UGA experience and how it is going to help the Latinx community.

“I really do think the program is great; it's a great beginning. It's a great start to something bigger, but I think they really do need to listen to everyone's voice because not all Hispanic people go through the same situation,” Figueroa said.