A high school program in the Savannah Chatham County Public School System is helping Latino students and their parents navigate the college process. The CAMINO College Prep program is offered at high schools with a high concentration of Hispanic students like Groves, Jenkins, New Hampstead and Windsor Forest.
The Director of the College Access Mentoring Information and Outreach Program said of the 34 senior students participating 22 of them already have college or military plans.
One of the CAMINO students going to college in the Fall is Windsor Forest senior Allie Reyes. She was accepted into Armstrong Atlantic State University.
"I was on the phone with my mother and I told her the letter came. My dad got the letter opener in front of me and when I saw the word congratulations I started jumping like a little girl," said Reyes.
Reyes says the CAMINO program helped get her through the college process since she couldn't turn to her parents.
"They didn't know what I needed to do. They knew about FAFSA but they didn't know what it was or what it did," said Reyes.
The Windsor Forest CAMINO advisor helped her family every step of the way.
"Our students within a year were forced to learn about financial aid applications, scholarships, grades, graduation requirements, graduation requirements for college, beyond college." said advisor Roman Czerwinski.
The idea of the program is to help more Latino students and parents realize higher education is attainable.
"For the type of Hispanics we have in the area, it has been more like a family work force where if the students are not doing well in school, often the parents pull them out of school and they can work in the family business," said Czerwinski.
Reyes said she feels ready for the next big step in her life.
"It helped me pretty much get ready for college and not be so afraid as I am, as I was, in the beginning of the year," said Reyes.
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