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HSF Launched National "THINK COLLEGE!" Week

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Students from the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Scholar Chapter Network today launched National THINK COLLEGE! Week, an initiative they designed to spread the word to younger Hispanic students about the importance of a college education and to get more Hispanic students thinking about going to college.

From March 1 through March 7, student members of the network, which includes HSF Scholar Chapters at 20 colleges and universities nationwide, will host workshops, high school visits, and college campus tours, at a location in their area. Visit http://www.hsf.net/ for complete list of activities. Through these activities, the college students aim to deliver the message to younger students that college is affordable and attainable and show them what tools they need to get there.

"The idea of Hispanic college students delivering a critical message to younger students is a key strategy for HSF to develop and empower Hispanic students throughout the educational pipeline," said Dr. Raymund Paredes, HSF's vice president of programs. "These HSF Scholars are leaders and clearly understand their responsibility to be role models to younger generations and show them that getting to college and getting a degree is not only possible, but vitally important to their professional and personal development."

Started with a $1 million seed grant from The Goldman Sachs Foundation, the HSF Scholar Chapter Network was established in 2001 on five college campuses nationwide to facilitate the educational and professional success of Latino students by promoting principles and practices of leadership, high academic achievement and professional development. The network has since grown to 20 chapters with additional funding from The Coca-Cola Company and The James Irvine Foundation.

National THINK COLLEGE! Week illustrates one of the key goals of the HSF Scholar Chapter Network: to motivate its members and promote leadership and academic achievement. It encourages student members to look beyond college and strive for leadership positions and excellence in their professional and personal lives, as well as to be role models for younger students.

Mentoring and promoting role models are key outreach strategies for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to increase the number of Hispanic students in the college pipeline. Studies show that positive mentoring experiences are an effective tool for youth to overcome the risk factors that can lead to problems such as educational failure and dropping out of school. Research indicates that there is a measurable positive correlation between the students' participation in the mentoring program and persistence in their degree program.

"I feel it is my responsibility to pass on the lessons I've learned and the experiences I've had in college to younger generations so they can see that I've made it and they can make it too," said Cesar Gonzalez, coordinator of the HSF Scholar Chapter at the University of Southern California. "It is important that younger Hispanic students understand not only how to enroll in college, but what to expect when they get there and how to find the resources they need to stay and get their degree."

CONTACT: Miguel Salinas of Hispanic Scholarship Fund, +1-415-808-2352,or msalinas@hsf.net

Web site: http://www.hsf.net/

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