Several Hundred Local Teens to Attend Annual Latino Summit

Not long ago, Sandra Torres was a high school student herself. Now she's an inspiration.

Torres, a Harper College graduate who transferred to Illinois State University to complete a bachelor's degree and now is a reporter with CBS 58 in Wisconsin, will return to Harper's campus on Friday, November 16 for the annual Latino Summit, an event intended to inspire local Latino high school freshmen to pursue higher education.

In addition to Torres' comments, the summit will include a keynote speech from Emmy Award-winner Enrique Rodriguez of Univision Network and breakout sessions that allow attendees to speak with dozens of Latino professionals and current Latino college students. Puerto Rico-born comic Elizardi Castro will provide lunchtime entertainment.

The summit, now in its 11th year, annually draws about 400 Latino teens from more than a dozen high schools in school districts 207, 211, 214 and 220. The all-day event focuses on the value of higher education and the importance of sticking with school amid the reality that Latino students seek out college less frequently than their peers.

Many attendees may end up being the first in their family to attend college, Recruiting Specialist Juanita Bassler says, making the summit a crucial educational opportunity.

"Many who come to this event also come from families where going to college isn't a sure thing. They need to see others just like them who have been successful," Bassler says. "We want them to set real goals for high school, college and beyond - and then we want to help them get there, succeed and, like Sandra Torres, even return to tell other high-schoolers why it's all so important."

Keynote speaker Rodriguez is a news anchor, reporter and producer at Univision. Since joining the station in 2004, he has interviewed political figures including Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. Both he and Torres are bilingual and viewed as influential advocates in the Latino community.

Press Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159