Education: The best present you can give to your children

Disclaimer: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers.  All opinions are 100% mine.

If for anything I thank my mom for, is the emphasis she always put on her children’s education. To pay for the private school my sister and I attended, there was a time when my mom had three jobs. Then, when we grew up and she decided to take the opportunity to complete her own education, there were some months when my mom, my sister and I went to the same college at the same time: Universidad Central de Venezuela.
There my mom got a BA in Education and years later she became a doctor in Social Sciences: the first PhD in our family; my sister, earned a BS in Biology and also earned her PhD in Biology, and if for me, I got my BA in Journalism. The three of us graduated with honors and I ended up earning my Masters in Public Policy at Columbia University, which made me the first Ivy Leaguer in our family.

When seven years ago I left my home country for better opportunities for my children here in America, education played an important role. Here my children could have access to excellent public schools and also have better options when going to college. Although they will end up studying and being what they want, I always say to me: if I could go to an Ivy League school, I want them to know that their efforts can also open those doors.

Although my children are just 11 and 13 years old, the issue of education is something we talk regularly. We talk about what they want to be, but especially how they are going to get there. They know that we live where we live so they can go to the charter school they attend. They know that their performance in elementary and middle schools, will give them access to a good high school, which will determine who in turn has access to a good college.

I will not wait for the time when my children apply for college to see how we will fund this important part of their education. As my grandparents did to my parents, and my mom did to me, I know a good education is the best gift I can give my children.

As moms and dads we can help our children navigate through out the sometimes-turbulent waters of the application process so that they can access college and graduate too. It’s my duty as a mom to have all the information so I can help my children to plan, prepare, and pay for that part of their education. Much of the effort I've done so far could be lost, if we do not have the financial resources so that my children can successfully finish college.

One in four students in our country are Latino and 19% of college students, aged 18-24 years in the US are Hispanic. This represents an increase of 7 percentage points compared to 2008. In addition, 69% of the Hispanic students go straight from high school to college. That means that every day there will be more kids like my children in need of financial help to pay the increasingly prohibitive costs of college education.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund, which since its creation in 1975 provides scholarships and auxiliary programs aimed at Latino students in the US, so they can have access to college and more important: complete their education. 

For more information, visit hsf.net. There you will find information on how to help your children to achieve their goals and earning their college degree. I also invite you to visit the HSF fan page on Facebook. And remember, when it comes to college education for our children, as parents we can also make the difference.

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