HISD’s third annual Dream Summit, held Saturday at Hattie Mae White, drew more than 200 students eager to collect resources and information about college applications and financial aid – about double the attendance over last year.
The HISD Office of College and Career Readiness and Multilingual Programs event is held each year to offer assistance to HISD DREAMers, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients, visa holders, permanent residents, refugees, and asylum grantees, along with their families.
Assistant Superintendent of Multilingual Programs Gracie Guerrero said the goal of the event is twofold.
“It shows students who may think that they have no options to pursue anything beyond high school that there are specific resources for them. And it also brings together resources that we have in the district in one place to make it accessible,” Guerrero said.
Superintendent Richard Carranza welcomed the students and their families in English and Spanish, encouraging them to take full advantage of the resources and sessions offered – and to continue to dream big for their futures.
“Dream is the cornerstone upon which this country was founded,” Carranza said. “We’re going to reclaim that word today, because we are part of the American dream … our dream is no different than the founders of this nation.”
Admissions representatives from many Texas colleges and universities were on hand to answer questions and host information sessions on the Texas Application for State Financial Aid (TASFA). The summit also included college information sessions, a college and resource fair, and a financial aid application lab for seniors. Students were able to complete a free affidavit that states he/she has been a Texas resident for three years, which is an admissions requirement for students.
Students such as Ramon Rodriguez, a sophomore at Sterling Aviation High School, were eager to get an early start learning about the college and financial aid processes.
“I have a lot of questions that my parents aren’t able to help me with,” he said. “I’m going to all of the sessions to get a little bit of information about everything, and I’m just trying to find resources such as scholarships and programs that can help me later on.”