Scholars’ Latino Initiative is thrilled to begin another semester of meaningful service and enrichment. To start off the year, our SLI Student Executive Board came together to organize and improve on the structure of our organization and set goals for the 2009-2010 school year. The exciting new changes, including more focused and intensive committee work, promise to enable a more efficient and effective realization of SLI’s mission of helping Latino students pursue their dreams of higher education.
Our first group event of the year was our annual SLI Fall Fiesta, which brought together mentees, mentors, and families of the junior and senior classes to rekindle their relationships and renew academic and personal goals. Maintaining regular contact with their SLI mentors at UNC, our junior and senior mentees are hard at work preparing for the next phase in their education. In all of our three sites, Siler City, Lee County, and Asheboro, our juniors are focusing on academic improvement and SAT preparation, while our seniors are busy compiling essays and information for their college acceptance and scholarship applications.
This past week, the Scholars’ Latino Initiative was honored and excited to present our new sophomore class of mentors and mentees. At a meet-and-greet event on the UNC campus on Saturday, mentees from all three sites were introduced to their enthusiastic and accomplished SLI mentors. This year’s mentor class is our most diverse group of UNC students ever, containing musicians, dancers, water-skiers, Portuguese speakers, and Swedish, German, Chinese, Spanish, and Turkish students! We are eager to see this new set of mentors and mentees accomplish goals together.
Furthermore, at the beginning of this school year, SLI was thrilled to see the UNC campus explore the issues faced by Latino immigrants through A Home on the Field, a book by SLI Board Member Paul Cuadros and the required summer reading book for incoming freshman. After studying the book over the summer, UNC first year students participated in discussion sessions in which they delved into the difficult issues presented in A Home on the Field and educated themselves about the precarious position of Latino immigrants in North Carolina.
As the fall semester progresses, SLI will continue to support our scholars and their communities. We truly appreciate your support as we strive to make positive changes in the lives of our participants!