During the third-annual Dream Summit held at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, nearly 200 students from 25 campuses were provided information about how to successfully apply to college, receive financial aid and take advantage of all the higher education resources available.
Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza welcomed scholars and parents with an inspiring speech. “The golden ticket is education. El boleto de oro es la educación. A whole world of pathways will open up for you. And now, you are on your first step: receiving your high school diploma. The opportunities for people that don’t have a high school diploma are quickly becoming zero. But the opportunities for those that have post high school education, are endless. Demand the ability to follow your dream. We are going to reclaim the word ‘DREAM’ today! We are part of the American Dream!” he emphasized.
Admission Representatives from community colleges and universities gave firsthand assistance to DREAMers, DACA recipients, visa holders, permanent residents, refugees, and asylum grantees in grades 9 – 12.
Ten students from Pasadena, Spring Branch, Alief and Cyfair school districts also had the opportunity to clarify their doubts by advisors who gave them the appropriate tools to move forward with the college application process.
Senior students actively participated in lab sessions that taught them how to complete the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA).
45 parents also attended informational sessions that: deepened their understanding of their rights, provided data on the financial aid process and sessions that invited them to be continuously involved in their child’s education.
That is the case of Ejimot Meshioye, mother of Funmi, a student at Wisdom High school. They came to the country from Nigeria looking for more favorable circumstances. “I think this is a great event. I have been looking for this opportunity for my daughter for a long time and it is truly helpful. I’m grateful,” she said.
Thanks to the information booths, Funmi was able to apply to the Houston Community College and Lone Star College to begin her business career.
Manuel Torres current Madison High School student, also thinks this event was “very helpful” because he was “guided when selecting what career to study.” He is referring to the Naviance session that showed students an online and career tool to help them select the right endorsement in high school based on the student’s strengths and interests while helping to plan for college. “I thank Houston ISD for this event because it helps the Hispanic community, for example I didn’t know how to apply for college and here I got the right help and tools.”
Genesis Ramirez, from Cesar Chavez High School, also agrees. “It was extremely helpful and I totally recommend you to come next year if you are a DACA or undocumented student.”
The four-hour event organized by HISD Office of College and Career Readiness and Multilingual Programs was also a great platform to surprise students with five college scholarships of $500 each.
This year’s winners were:
- Saul Luviano from Chavez High School
- Branlin Santos from Sharpstown High School
- Kimberly Sorto from Bellaire High School
- Hilaria Hernandez from Wheatley High School
- Brenda Guzman from Wisdom High School
We give a special shoutout to the 25 participating campuses: Scarborough, Bellaire, Milby, Wheatley, Wisdom, Sam Houston MSTC, Mickey Leland, Middle College Gulfton, Chavez, Sharpstown, Heights, Madison, Waltrip, East Early College, Long Academy, Austin, Liberty, Jones, Sterling, Mount Carmel, Westside, Challenge Early College, Lamar, DeBakey and North Houston Early College.