The United Community Center welcomed students and volunteers attending an end of the year celebration for their new community program Abriendo Puertas.
In English, "abriendo puertas" translates to "opening doors" and that is literally what this program is doing for its students. Funded with a grant from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corp and partnering with Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, Abriendo Puertas gives Hispanic college students support they need to be successful in college.
Ricardo Diaz, Executive Director for the United Community explains why a program like this is important for the Hispanic Community in Milwaukee. "We are the fastest growing group in the U.S. to the degree that we can be proud of our growth. We also need to be educated as we grow". Diaz says that support for all aspects of academics are provided, but the Abriendo Puertas program goes a step further, providing students with career mentors from local businesses looking to hire these future graduates. Diaz says "It's important that the message comes from potential peers, someone young enough to relate to many of our students."
Abriendo Puertas helped 150 students this year and hope to increase those numbers as they are considered for continued funding for the 2013-2014 school year.
More about the United Community Center and their programs are found online at www.unitedcc.org.