Davenport University to host hundreds of Michigan Latino students this spring

Leaders at Davenport University and the nonprofit Advocates for Latino Student Advancement in Michigan Education (Alsame) announced the spring 2024 conference will be held at Davenport’s Grand Rapids campus.

More than 200 students will gather at Davenport’s Lettinga Campus for the one-day conference on May 3. Alsame is committed to Latino students and parents and sponsors college fairs all over the state to assist Latino students in their desire for a college degree. High school students across the state are encouraged to attend, but seats are limited. More details will be shared by Alsame with high school counselors and the community soon.

Students who attend will hear from Latino leaders and learn all about attending college. Topics will include getting into college, how to pay for it, mental health, and the overall experience of campus life.

“This annual conference is an amazing resource for Latino high school students who want to pursue a post-secondary education,” said Salvador Lopez, co-chair of the Alsame board. “We appreciate Davenport hosting all the participants this year. Students will love being on the college’s campus in Grand Rapids, and we’re excited to be planning the 2024 conference.”

Davenport President Richard J. Pappas said hosting the Alsame conference this spring is a perfect fit for the university, which is poised to announce a new bilingual program called Casa Latina. The university will begin enrolling students for the program that will begin fall 2024. Pappas said the university will meet students where they are.

“Our goal with Casa Latina is to increase the number of Latinos who have earned college degrees,” said Pappas. “Hosting hundreds of high school students for the Alsame Conference this spring will give them great exposure to Davenport and let them know college is indeed possible for them. We’re excited about both programs.”

Spearheading Davenport’s involvement with Alsame is Carlos Sanchez, the executive director of Casa Latina.

“We know that only about 20% of Latinos have earned a bachelor’s degree by the time they hit 30 years old,” said Sanchez. “Alsame works to improve that number, and Davenport is honored to be involved with the group and the students they serve. You will soon be hearing more about our new program Casa Latina, which will be unique in how it supports bilingual students on their way to a degree.”


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