Chicano/Latino High School Students Attend Career Day at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash. — More than 70 Chicano/Latino high school students from Pasco, Othello,
Yakima and Sunnyside took part in the second annual CASHE (Children of Aztlan Sharing Higher
Education) Career Day Oct. 2 at Washington State University.
The almost nine-hour program had sessions on applying to attend college and details about financial
aid. Academic faculty representatives from each WSU college made presentations; and students learned
about the program’s historical and political implications.
The “day” was sponsored by the university’s Chicano/Latino Faculty/Staff Association and MEChA
(Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) student chapter. Association representative Yolanda Flores
Niemann, a WSU faculty member, and MEChA student representative Alma Montes de Oca, a graduate of
Yakima’s Eisenhower High School, co-chaired the event.
The program was not only a recruiting tool for WSU, but also an “awareness building” event, said
Flores Niemann. “The majority of the high school students who took part will be the first in their families
to attend college. This conference helped make them aware of procedures, challenges and opportunities
related to going to college and the benefits of a college education.”
She said, “This event was informative to the school counselors who came with their students.
Counselors indicated that what they learned here will help them counsel and assist students as they think
about and plan for college life. In that way, the effects of this one-day event will be long lasting, as both
students and administrators expressed enthusiasm about what awaits future Latina/o students at WSU.”
Flores Niemann said funding limitations required a limit to the number of participants.
Representatives from several other Central and Eastern Washington high schools have asked that their
schools be placed on the priority list for the next WSU CASHE Career Day.
One of the highlights of the event was an open microphone forum at the end of the day, she said. “
Several of the student participants expressed new-found enthusiasm for attending college. Some indicated
they had not really considered college an option for them until they experienced this event. These
comments were confirmed by student evaluations, which overwhelmingly indicated that the event
positively affected their thinking about attending college, especially WSU.”
The program was a “huge success,” said Flores Niemann. There will be follow-ups to determine which
of the participants enroll at WSU.
For information about CASHE Day at WSU, contact Yolanda Flores Niemann, Department of
Comparative American Cultures, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4010, telephone