According to Mariela Dabbah, author of the recently released book Latinos in College: Your Guide to Success, only 12 of every 100 Latino students who enter Kindergarten graduate with a Bachelor’s degree. She explains that this is largely because Latino families are unaware of the best way to guide their children through the educational system with the aim of getting into college and graduating successfully.
Most people agree that college is the gateway to success in America. A college graduate has opportunities that are unavailable to those who do not continue their education. Yet the Latino college graduation rate in the United States continues to lag behind the general population.
On a personal level I understand this phenomenon. Even though my father was a college graduate, and instilled a strong belief in the importance of an education, I remember feeling out of place when I started college. I knew I needed a degree to move forward with a professional career, but initially I was uncomfortable in a college setting.
I now know that this is not an uncommon feeling among Latinos in higher education. In many respects we are just beginning to understand our place in the United States. Learning how to navigate the system and knowing where to find support is imperative. For many, it may be the difference between enrolling in college and ultimately graduating with a degree.
In Latinos in College: Your Guide to Success Mariela Dabbah gives voice to the challenges faced by Latino students and offers a unique combination of advice, encouragement and resources. It is a comprehensive guide for students, families and faculty which takes into consideration the cultural elements that can become a hindrance to academic advancement.
In addition, Mariela has recently launched www.latinosincollege.com. This outstanding website offers college students and parents a wide array of practical information. It is a comprehensive resource that connects students with scholarships, internships and mentorship programs. The website also provides a platform for students to connect with one another through its blogs.
Mariela Dabbah is at the forefront of helping Latinos and the non-Latino establishment understand the obstacles our students face. However, as a community we are all responsible for becoming informed and mentoring students in our families and communities. Latinos in College: Your Guide to Success and www.lantinosincollege.com are invaluable resources in our collective efforts to close the Latino education gap in America.
About the Author
Mariela Dabbah, is the award-winning, best-selling author of Help your Children Succeed in High School and Go to College, Help Your Children Succeed in School and How to Get a Job in the U.S. and the co-author of The Latino Advantage in the Workplace. She has been a guest on NPR’s All Things Considered, Wake up with Whoopi (Syndicated radio show), ABC’s Good Morning America, NBC’s Today in New York, Despierta América on Univision, Cada Día on Telemundo, Directo desde Estados Unidos on CNN en Español, and many other TV programs and radio shows. She does weekly segments on WADO 1280’s El Palo de la Tarde, monthly segments on News 12 Westchester and on Univision 41. She has been interviewed by Business Week and has been featured and quoted in publications across the country including Time, The New York Times, Latina magazine and Vanidades magazine. www.marieladabbah.com
She is also a contributor for Siempre Mujer, and several websites as well as a columnist for Padres de Hoy (Tribune) and www.meencanta.com.
In addition, Mariela is the national spokesperson for McDonald’s education program for Latinos.