Lander University Launches ‘El Puente Latino’ to Bridge Gaps for Hispanic Students

El Puente Latino is a new initiative from Lander University which aims to serve the Hispanic community inside and outside of the University. The new initiative is being led by Liz Scott-Araiza, coordinator of Hispanic/Latino enrollment. “Its main purpose is to be the bridge that closes the gaps that young Hispanic leaders encounter throughout their college paths,” she said. “We want to mentor, build leadership and promote bilingualism.”

GREENWOOD, S.C__ El Puente Latino is a new initiative from Lander University which aims to serve the Hispanic community inside and outside of the University.

The new initiative is being led by Liz Scott-Araiza, coordinator of Hispanic/Latino enrollment. “Its main purpose is to be the bridge that closes the gaps that young Hispanic leaders encounter throughout their college paths,” she said. “We want to mentor, build leadership and promote bilingualism.”

Scott-Araiza aims to make sure that all relative information is available in a clear, understandable manner to those who may not speak English as a first language, or at all. “Most of these families’ first language is Spanish, and they assume there is no one who can help them or answer their questions,” she said. “When only a segment of the family speaks English, we must support the whole family by providing information and communication avenues in both languages.”

The initiative has networked with groups such as the South Carolina Commission of Minority Affairs and the Hispanic Alliance, as well as additional educational institutions. Collaboration with outside organizations provides an avenue to maximize resources and compound efforts to provide Hispanic students and their families with the most resources possible.

“In the Hispanic community, we are not individuals. We are units, we are families,” said Scott-Araiza. “We want families to know that El Puente and Lander are here for them, and we want them to trust that they will have full support in their college path.”

For more information about El Puente, visit www.lander.edu/el-puente.

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