Hispanic students get early start on school year
For 15 excited Avanzando Scholars, school started a bit early this year, providing an opportunity for them to add to their arsenal of academic and personals skills.
The 2013 University of Missouri-Kansas City Avanzando Summer Program for Scholars was held Sunday, Aug. 4 – Thursday, Aug. 8 at the Student Union and consisted of workshops on leadership, writing, Latina/o Studies, managing stress and conducting research.
Also included were cohort building workshops – like “The Marshmallow Challenge.” During the challenge, students were placed in teams and constructed – or attempted to construct – a free-standing structure with marshmallows and spaghetti.
“We were successful in creating our structure because we merged our ideas,” said Christopher Estrada, a business major and a member of the winning team with the free-standing structure that survived the marshmallow topper. “Each member of our team felt valued and we all contributed to the success of the process.”
The objective was to determine individual leadership styles, deal with conflicts, improve problem-solving skills, and facilitate conversations on academic planning.
“Your college experience is about more than the classroom,” said Cindy Pemberton, deputy vice provost, to the somewhat surprised students. “It’s about awareness of the value of the knowledge, perspective and contributions you bring to UMKC and learning to be successful – being engaged in the college experience, recognizing the value of learning opportunities outside the classroom, including research, leadership and being valued and gaining comfort in approaching faculty with learning needs.”
UMKC professors, counselors, librarians, staff members and community members facilitated the workshops.
Established in 2011, Avanzando currently supports over 60 recipients of the Hispanic Development Fund and the Agapito Mendoza scholarships in their academic and career pursuits. This retention and graduation program is a partnership between the UMKC Division of Diversity, Access and Equity and HDF and includes academic support, mentoring and enhanced access to campus and community resources.