The Foundation for Puerto Rico is participating for the first time in the New Haven College Fair Consortium 2015, in Conn., to promote “Campus Puerto Rico,” a program with representation from public and private universities that band together to advocate for Puerto Rico as an academic destination.
“[This week], we have been with a ‘Campus Puerto Rico’ delegation, composed of public and private universities, participating in this important fair to promote Puerto Rico as an academic destination among students in the New Haven public education system,” said Denisse Rodríguez-Colón, program manager for Foundation for Puerto Rico
This is the first time that Puerto Rico is invited to this college fair in New Haven, and, for most of the universities in Puerto Rico, it is also the first time they visit high school students.
“This was possible thanks to a connection with our diaspora and the collaboration between nonprofit organizations. The executive director of Ciencia Puerto Rico, Giovanna Guerrero-Medina, put us in communication with Daniel Díaz, a Puerto Rican working in the New Haven public education system. We quickly approached him, and [now] we’re here demonstrating that Puerto Rico can be an accessible and important academic destination for hispanics,” she said.
The city of New Haven has a high Hispanic (30.95 percent) population in its public education system composed of 21,500 registered students. The segment is growing mainly fueled by the immigration of Puerto Ricans to the northeastern state. It is estimated that in 2014, 400 newly accepted students in the New Haven public education system came from Puerto Rico.
“We’re very proud that Puerto Rico is represented in this conference. As a Puerto Rican, I believe that ‘Campus Puerto Rico’ is doing a good job in promoting Puerto Rico as an academic destination,” said Daniel Díaz, coordinator of Parent Engagement for the New Haven Board of Education.
“Personally, it is another way to strengthen Puerto Rico’s economy and promote it at an international level. When the students attend a university in Puerto Rico, they not only pay for college, but also invest in the local economy,” he said.
The Campus Puerto Rico delegation in New Haven includes: the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus; University of the Sacred Heart; Interamerican University, and the Polytechnic University.
Students from 13 high schools in the New Haven district will learn about Campus Puerto Rico and the universities mentioned during the event.
“During this visit, we will impact 1,300 high school juniors of which approximately 34 percent are Hispanic. The Hispanic community in the United States is an important market for higher education in Puerto Rico because our destination offers them the same standards as the United States at a fraction of the cost.,” said Rodríguez-Colón.
“Federal scholarships and loan programs apply in Puerto Rico, the education is bilingual, and our universities’ alumni are highly coveted in the U.S. job market,” she said.
In the college selection process, parents are a key factor in the students’ decision of where to study. This is why, as part of the Campus Puerto Rico efforts in New Haven, the delegation will be host a parent workshop to offer information about the academic advantages in Puerto Rico.
“This effort from Foundation for Puerto Rico of connecting with the diaspora and reaching Hispanic students in the United States is the first of many efforts to transform Puerto Rico into the academic destination of the Americas. We continue working and collaborating with the Puerto Rico Department of State and the island’s public and private institutions to make this a reality in both the long and short term,” she concluded.