Bellevue University is aiming to become a stronger ally to its Latino students.
The school opened a brand new center dedicated to supporting the Latino students' academic journey, both personally and professionally. It’s called El Camino Latino Center.
“We had a community forum about 90 people who attended, and we did a presentation about what we wanted the center to look like and from that we developed partners who were interested in having an office here at Bellevue University and providing their services to them,” said Gina Ponce, Director of Latino Community Outreach at Bellevue University.
“I have been working with Latino students for over 20 years in South Omaha. And primarily we always concentrate on recruiting kids to come to college, and I felt that we needed to do a little more than that,” said Ponce. “I thought we needed to start matching students to employers and give students the opportunity to be able to experience employers prior to graduating from college.”
The center will be home to seven businesses and organizations. University partners and employers will have their offices inside the center, with hopes that their presence and easy accessibility will provide internships, resources, and eventually jobs for students.
Heartland Worker Center will be one of the partners inside Bellevue. HWC will help identify people who want to be placed in jobs during and after college and provide training for the workforce.
El Camino Latino Center also has a scholarship named after the center for students interested in attending the university.
The Center will have an open house on August 19 from 4:00 - 6:30 p.m.