When Rosa Beltran was going through high school in a small town in southern Colorado in the late ’90s, graduation was not on her site.
“My parents were just too worried about trying to work and put food on the table. I don’t think I’ve ever had that support from school,” Beltran said of her high school at the center, a predominantly Hispanic farming community in the San Luis Valley.
Beltran dropped out and became a teenage mom. But he is determined that his children will finish school.
“It always inspired me, I’m going to graduate, I’m going to college,” said his eldest daughter, Marissa, now 25. “There was no if, else, or but about it.”
Before ninth grade she learned that she could take college classes as a student in high school. The school dropped him off the bus to and from the college campus.
“It was a very small, supportive school,” she said.
Marisa Beltrán graduated from the pueblo in 2015, during a decade when Colorado’s Hispanic graduation rate rose nearly 20 percentage points, double the benefits for all students, and faster than any other demographic.
The Hispanic graduation rate rose dramatically for a variety of reasons, including new school strategies, better economic conditions, and fiercer determination of families. Still, Hispanic graduation and college completion rates lag behind white students. And with the pandemic demanding a high cost on the welfare of Hispanic families, many worry it will also take away recent gains in education.
– Full story via Yesenia Robles, Chockbeat Colorado
Hispanic students make gains in high school graduation amid change in attitude
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