CREAR Futuros (College Readiness, Achievement and Retention) is a program developed by The Hispanic Federation (HF) to address the systemic barriers that prevent Latinos from earning a college degree. HF works with higher education partners to implement student retention and achievement initiatives that increase the percentage of Latino students graduating from college.
CREAR Futuros is a “Community of Care” model program that is providing Latino college students with support to boost GPA, retention, course completion, and graduation rates among Latinos. The programs use peer-mentorship, leadership development, career mentorship, internship opportunities, and connections to social services to effect change.
The program operates on 8 college campuses, across four states where the Hispanic Federation has an established presence, including New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Florida. Participating campuses include City University of New York (CUNY), Borough of Manhattan Community College, John Jay College, LaGuardia Community College, Lehman College, NYC College of Technology, University of Central Florida, Naugatuck Valley Community College (Waterbury and Danbury campuses) and Rhode Island College.
This week, CREAR Futuros, sponsored by the Hispanic Federation, held their annual 3-day intensive training in NYC. Four Naugatuck Valley Community College students were among the student mentors who attended. Throughout the weekend, the students collaborated and networked with fellow mentors from colleges such as University of Central Florida, University of Rhode Island, John Jay College (CUNY), Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY) and Lehman College (CUNY). The four NVCC students, Thomas Marques, Maria Cajamarca, Genesis Bezzolo-Rodriguez, and Smeilyn Abreu, are new to the program. This will be their first semester participating in CREAR Futuros.
NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., commented, “CREAR Futuros is one of our signature programs as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Three years ago, Ingrid Alvarez-DiMarzo, Connecticut State Director of the Hispanic Federation program, approached me and invited us to participate because she believes in the work taking place at NVCC. I was happy to hear of our students’ reactions and engagement as they navigated their way in the New York City subways and joined so many other talented students from different institutions to prepare for the mentoring work that will take place this coming academic year. I offer a big thank you to the CREAR Futuros national initiative for including NVCC, creating one more opportunity for our students to grow in service.”
Dean of the NVCC Danbury campus, Antonio Santiago, met with the students and participated in activities of the mentoring intensive at the Hispanic Federation office in lower Manhattan. Santiago commented, “Our students felt honored and privileged to be able to participate in the program and are looking forward to the start of the new semester, where they will have an opportunity to meet new mentees. They have already started the recruiting process by networking with colleagues.”
Photo From Left to Right: Thomas Marques (Pre-Nursing); Maria Cajamarca (Pre-Nursing/Bio-Medical Engineering); Genesis Bezzolo-Rodriguez (Pre-Nursing); Smeilyn Abreu (Political Science)