Educating Latino leaders of the future

October 07, 2011

El Planeta

Marta RosaAt Wheelock College, the number of Latino students has increased in recent years, an achievement very proud members of the faculty of the institution.

"It is important that our Latino kids have access to quality education," said Marta T. Rosa, special assistant to the president of Wheelock in foreign affairs and government. "The future is in your hands."

In 2005, there were 35 Latinos studying for a degree. This year the figure has increased to 94 Latinos in the institution that houses a total of 830 students, according to statistics provided by Wheelock.

"Not enough people like us at the tables where decisions are made."
Marta Rosa, about the lack of Hispanic leaders and the need to engage

At the same time, Wheelock says the number of Hispanic students who are studying postgraduate courses has increased from 10 in 2005 to 21 in 2011. Today, there are a total of 332 postgraduate students at school healing. Wheelock students to specialize in areas of education, social work, arts and sciences.
Rosa is responsible for community affairs, public relations and any political issue related to the institution. She said he was committed to increasing the diversity of Wheelock and empower Latino youth.

"We want students who reflect the communities where we live," said Rosa, 53.

Rosa said that she and the school is very important to prepare teachers, social workers can be identified with the people they serve.

She added that having Latino leaders is something that potentially inspire other young people as they can be witnesses of that success if possible.

To ensure that Latino students feel included socially in the community of Wheelock, the school has created the organization "La Herencia Latina" said Rosa.

"La Herencia Latina" was established in 2010 and is a club where Latino students are supported not only socially but also academically, he said.

"Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college. They need support and guidance as the first generation of college, "said Rosa.

Rosa emigrated to America at age nine in Puerto Rico, and also lived in this transition challenges.

By not speak English to come to this country, school officials in Chelsea, the city where he grew up, the delayed two school years.

"I was supposed to have enter sixth grade, but put me in room," recalled Rose. "That is something that can demoralize some people because they would be older than other students. But I saw every challenge as an opportunity. "

Leadership and public service is something that has always interested to Rosa.

"All my work has always been intended to improve the quality of life for children and families," said Rosa, who was elected to serve on the School Committee of Chelsea in 1989.

She said that at that time was motivated to run for that office by noting that the city school board did not have a Latino representative.

"We got tired of throwing stones from outside," Rosa said, outlining the importance of Latino representatives in positions of power to make decisions.

"Not enough people like us at the tables where decisions are made," said Rosa. "I've been president of several organizations, and many times I'm the only person of color or the only Latina. It is important to get involved, because many decisions affecting the Latino community. "

While in Chelsea, Rosa also served on the city council and planning board, which makes decisions about business coming to town, business licenses, and general welfare of the community.

She said part of his mission as leader is to support young people, opening doors and enabling them to excel. Rosa said he has no doubt that everyone has the qualities to succeed.

Rosa said she delights in achievements, big or small. One achievement that gave him much satisfaction as a school committee member was to create centers 'welcoming rooms " in which parents and teachers gathered to chat about the progress of students.

"People try to change the world, but you have to take one step at a time," he concluded.

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