NHS alumni look to give back to their Latinx heritage through an up and coming student outreach program…
NHS demographics for 2018-2019 school year show that 20.3% of the student body was of Latinx descent. Through the years, the Latinx population in the Nutley Public Schools has grown.
The term Latinx is a growingly popular way of refer to the Latino community while remaining gender-neutral.
NHS alumni and Latinx community members, Katherina Robles and Gerardo Flores, look at their NHS experience and hope to share their knowledge with current Latinx students. This year they started this effort through their newly founded student-outreach program, Latinx Nutley.
“We’ve always realized that there wasn’t a bridge between the educational pursuits of students from backgrounds like ours. The goal of our discussion was to start to fill that gap for minority students and parents who did not grow up either speaking English or navigating the general educational system here,” Flores said.
Both successfully finishing college experiences this year, Robles and Flores kicked-off Latinx Nutley with an information session on the college application process. They hosted a Zoom call titled, Real Talk with NHS Latinx Alumni on College, Work and More. During the event, students were introduced to the college application process, given helpful resources on scholarships and asked questions to the alumni. Robles and Flores presented in both English and Spanish to ensure that all students and parents in attendance understood the information given.
Julie Mitschow, the World language and ESL/Bilingual district coordinator, spoke after the event, saying, “As a first-generation Colombian-American myself, I remember craving this type of mentorship during my time here at NHS. This was a wonderful event hosted by passionate students driven to help empower their fellow Latinos in pursuing education after high school.”
Latinx Nutley now consists of roughly 20 students. Robles and Flores hope to continue their momentum by closely working with the school to find new ways to create equal opportunities for everyone regardless of background.
In conclusion, Mitchow emphasized her excitement. “ I am proud of our NHS alumni for bringing this outreach to our community and taking this much needed mentorship to a new level,” she said. “I hope to continue to be a part of this endeavor with our alumni, as well as different people and organizations within Nutley.”
Latinx Nutley is just beginning but has huge potential in bringing diversity and awareness to the community. While future events have not yet been announced, students should keep an eye out for more to come.