By: Carmen Ramos Chandler
California State University, Northridge (CSUN), the California State University Chancellor’s Office and Univision Los Angeles are joining together on Saturday, Oct. 15, as part of Univision Contigo’s award-winning education season, to help open the doors to success for thousands of Latino families from across Southern California with “Feria de Educación” (Education Fair), a daylong celebration of the power of education. The annual event has become one of the largest Latino education fairs in the nation and is free for all parents, students and educators.
Since 2008, a CSU campus and Univision Los Angeles have partnered to offer this one-day education fair filled with Spanish- and English-language workshops and other activities designed to help parents help their children achieve their educational and career goals, providing resources and valuable information on the full spectrum of education.
The Feria is scheduled to take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at locations across the CSUN campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge. This is the first time the community event has been held at CSUN.
“CSUN is committed to serving the needs of our community, and we are happy to host this life-changing event,” said CSUN President Dr. Dianne F. Harrison, who will welcome the Feria’s attendees at 9:30 a.m. in front of CSUN’s Oviatt Library in the center of the campus. “For many, this day is the first step on a rewarding educational journey, and I encourage families and students of all ages to join us and learn more about the resources, career paths and futures available through the power of education.”
Workshops will cover such topics as how to create a learning environment at home, an exploration of California’s three public higher education systems and its private colleges, overviews of the college application process, services for undocumented students, the financial aid process, scholarships, financial literacy and the support offered by the Educational Opportunity Programs to students, as well as conversations with currently enrolled college students about life on campus.
“There is a powerful potential in our youth and it is our responsibility to give them access to the tools and resources they need to feel empowered,” said Luis Patiño, senior vice president and general manager of Univision Local Media in Los Angeles. “Education is critically important to our community and we know that our continued partnership with our Cal State schools will allow us to continue to work towards our shared goal of empowering Hispanic families and students.”
Among the day’s highlights is a town hall discussion, offered in the morning and afternoon, on how parents can navigate the resources and services available to students with disabilities. The presentation, which will be in Spanish, will focus on the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. An IEP is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a child’s individual needs.
The Feria will include a “reading garden,” and the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles will be giving away thousands of books to encourage children and their parents to read together. There will be exhibits explaining the “pathway” to education with additional resources and information, beginning with pre-K and continuing through post-graduate services. Univision’s on-air anchors Gabriela Teissier and Andrea Gonzalez and Univision Radio’s Eddie G will make special appearances throughout the event.
The Feria de Educación is part of the CSU’s Latino Initiative, which forges strong community partnerships that help increase the number of Latino students who attend and graduate from college. These efforts support the CSU’s new Graduation Initiative 2025 targets focused on increasing the completion rates of first-time freshmen, transfer, low-income and underserved students. Graduation Initiative 2025 will add 100,000 more college graduates to California’s workforce over the next 10 years, bringing the total number of expected CSU graduates between 2015 and 2025 to more than 1 million.
Originally launched in February 2010, Univision Contigo’s education platform remains the nation’s longest-running multi-media education campaign on the air. Today, with the help of leading organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Too Small to Fail, the Bezos Family Foundation, XQ Institute, and Common Sense Media, among others, the initiative continues to empower Hispanic families to invest in their child’s education in order to ensure their success in college and beyond.
For more information about the Feria de Educación, visit www.csun.edu/feria.