Original URL: http://www.dailystar.com/dailystar/metro/12900.php
Carmona stresses education for Hispanic youth at fair
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
By Erin Schmidt
Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona returned to the Old Pueblo Saturday for an
educational fair stressing the importance of educating Hispanic youth.
Carmona, who calls Tucson his hometown and was a Tucson trauma surgeon, health
administrator and sheriff's SWAT team member, was part of a two-day event that
wrapped up Saturday. It was geared toward stressing advancement in Hispanic
students through family support and community connections.
"One-third of all Hispanics drop out of high school," Carmona said. "We need to
stress that education will set you free. It will let you do whatever you want to
Carmona addressed about 35 parents, students and residents. He was also joined
by Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., who also addressed the importance of an education
for Hispanic students.
The event, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation Feria Educativa, was
held at the University of Arizona. Tucson is one of seven cities nationwide to
play host to the event sponsored by Partners in Hispanic Education, an
initiative launched last year by the White House Initiative on Educational
Excellence for Hispanic Americans. The educational fair was brought to Tucson
because of its large Hispanic population, said Francisco Lopez, executive
director for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
"Tucson has been identified as a small market with a large number of Latinos,"
Lopez said. "We want to close the achievement gaps between minorities and
Lopez said the foundation had worked closely with local school districts to get
the word out on the educational fair.
Daniela Lopez, a senior at Desert View High School said she came to learn more
about her opportunities as a minority youth.
"They are going to motivate us to stay in school," she said. "No matter if we
are planning to go to Pima Community College or to the University of Arizona, it
is important to hear. That is why I am here today."
Kolbe, who represents large portions of Tucson and rural Southern Arizona, said
it is important to start teaching children at a young age about the importance
of a higher education.
"Parents need to be involved in homework and on a local level," Kolbe said.
"Students must know the importance of a secondary education the first day they
go to school, not the last day."
Feria Educativa offered motivational performances for students stressing the
importance of an education. Along with student motivation, parents were involved
in the event with presentations designed to inform them of higher education and
° Contact reporter Erin Schmidt at 629-9412 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.