Hillsborough Schools program helps Spanish-speaking parents prepare students for college


HILLSBOROUGH CO., Fla. (WFLA) -The Hillsborough County School District has created a program to help teach Spanish-speaking parents how to send their kids to college the right way.

Pasos al Futuro, or Steps Towards the Future, started 15 years ago, and has helped Hispanic families guide their children into schools and find the right jobs for them afterward.

Parents will learn about college prep, finding and applying for schools and financial aid.

Juliette Garcia moved to Tampa from Colombia four years ago with little knowledge about getting her son into school. All she knew was that she was sending him to a school they were zoned for.

But through Pasos, Garcia learned how to apply to get her son into Hillsborough High’s IB program, which turned out to be a great fit for him.

“It’s like, I have more chances. The groundwork has been laid out for me. It’s my choice too. I like I get to choose it. I know that I have an option. It’s not like, oh student loans. Oh I have to do good to get into a good school. With Pasos al Futuro I know I can do it,” said Garcia’s son, Mathew Moreno. “There I can find information about the IB program. I never knew about that. For me, I only knew about the regular school that’s in the neighborhood and that’s it. That’s all the information that I get, but now I know about the magnet schools. In my case, my son is in the IB program.”

Starting Thursday, Oct. 1, the school district is launching the first of a four-part series on their YouTube page where parents can watch how to prepare. The lessons will be in Spanish.

The first part of the series called “Prepare” launches at 8 a.m. Thursday. There will be a new lesson every Thursday in October until Oct. 22.

You can learn more about the program here.

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