“Juntos” program prepares Hispanic students and their families for a future education

MOLINE - It's a roll of the dice whether students will decide to move forward with their education.

"Some people don't go, especially like Hispanics because we don't have the money or whatever, I think it's important that at least they be well informed," said Sally Galindo, parent.

A new program called "Juntos" aims to change that.

The University of Illinois Extension and the Boys and Girls Club of the Mississippi Valley gives eighth grade Latino students and their parents an opportunity to explore education and career goals.

Sally Galindo and her son are taking part in the next five weeks of the program that will help them prepare for the future.

"You don't think about it until you're like oh my gosh this is coming, it's coming up soon ya know," said Galindo.

According to the student report card at John Deere Middle School in Moline 35% of students are Hispanic with only 11% are meeting or exceeding 'The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.'

"It's certainly high enough that it's an issue that we want to address," said Diane Baker, 4-h Youth Development Coordinator with the University of Illinois Extension.

In the program students and parents learn how to succeed in school, attain and prepare for a college education and how parents can be involved through a variety of different activities.

"For families to develop those communication skill sets early, that's what we spend a lot of time on tonight," said Baker.

Even though Sally's son isn't quite sure what path he wants to take yet, through the program he'll be prepared to have a successful future.

The first five week session still has a couple more openings and runs on Thursday nights, a second five week session will start in March.

You can register online in English or Spanish at the University of Illinois Extension’s web page or call (309) 756-9978.