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News Section: Schools and Education

UnidosNow to Host College Prep Fair

Published Saturday, April 5, 2014 12:01 am

BRADENTON - First generation college applicants from Manatee and Sarasota county high schools are invited to attend UnidosNow’s 3rd Annual College Prep Fair on Saturday, April 12, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., on the campus of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.


This free event is open to students in grades 9-12, and will feature a series of comprehensive workshops on relevant topics such as selecting the right college or vocational program, filling out financial aid forms, and preparing for the SAT/ACT tests. Representatives from local four-year and two-year colleges, as well as vocational schools, will be available to talk with prospective students, provide information about their institutions, and answer questions.

“Although this event is open to the public, this is a great opportunity for Latino students to pursue their dream of going to college,“ said Cathaleen Kaiyoorawongs, Director of Education Initiatives at UnidosNow. “Latinos are the fastest-growing segment of the population in the United States. Currently, they represent approximately 24% of the total K-12 student population in Florida, yet only 6.2% of full-time college students (both undergraduate and graduate students) in October 2010 were Hispanic.


Within 14 years, the percentage of high school students represented by Latinos will be approximately 44% and 30% in Manatee and Sarasota counties, respectively. Their ability to secure a good education will have major ramifications, not only for Latinos, but for the general population of Southwest Florida.”

The challenge in creating a sustainable educational movement for Latinos is to shift from a series of disconnected projects in the community to a model of increased cooperation and partnership, thereby optimizing limited financial resources and leveraging the skills and networks each organization brings to the table. To help achieve this objective, UnidosNow works closely with a wide range of partners, such as USF Sarasota-Manatee, Take Stock in Children, CYD, and counselors from the Sarasota and Manatee county school systems. 


Importantly, UnidosNow also strives to connect with disenfranchised Latino communities, including families and places of worship, to strengthen the overall support system for students and parents alike. Visit for further information and to register.


UnidosNow is a 501c(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to elevate the quality of life of our growing Latino community through education, integration, and civic engagement. Programming includes access to education, financial education and meaningful participation in addressing issues of importance to the Latino community. UnidosNow focuses the majority of its resources on education in order to arm youth with the tools necessary to achieve their dreams and, in turn, give back to our community, state and nation. Funders and believers in UnidosNow’s Youth Collaborative include: Gulf Coast Community Foundation, John L. and James S. Knight Foundation, Sheriff Tom Knight, Manatee Community Foundation, and Wells Fargo.

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