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SUSD, UA Hispanic Community Council host reception with Dr. Robert Robbins
OCTOBER 1, 2018 / MODIFIED OCT 16, 2018 03:16 PM

The Sunnyside Unified School District, in collaboration with the UA Hispanic Community Council, hosted UA President Dr. Robert Robbins on Monday, October 8 at a small reception in downtown Tucson. The event was co-sponsored by the UA Office of Community Relations and members from Hispanic-serving organizations including Sunnyside, Chicanos por la Causa, El Rio Health Center, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Tucson Unified School District. 

Victor Mercado (above, right), Sunnyside Director of Public Information discussed the College Academy for Parents and Imagine Your STEM Future, two key partnerships that have resulted in improved educational outcomes for Sunnyside students and their families. In his remarks, Mercado spoke about the impact of the College of Academy for Parents (CAP), which has served more than 2,500 students and 900 families since its inception sixteen years ago.

President Robbins (above) echoed his support for the program, which was first introduced to him by SUSD Governing Board member and Arizona State Representative, Mr. Daniel Hernandez. Robbins was present at last year's CAP graduation and vowed to find ways to support the program. The College Academy for Parents works with elementary school parents in the Sunnyside District to develop a college plan for their children. Participants in the program take part in parent workshops, mini lectures with UA professors, and campus tours to understand how to create a better college going culture in their households. 

Imagine Your Stem Future, a collaboration with the UA Stem Center, matches women engineers from Raytheon with female students at Desert View High School. The program is in its seventh year and supports girls interested in science and math through classroom activities, mentorship, and leadership opportunities. Research shows that despite an interest in math and science in the early grades, girls are more reluctant to take upper level math and science courses in middle and high school which creates a representation gap as women are less likely than their male counterparts to pursue STEM majors in college. Longtime Sunnyside supporter, Raytheon's Melissa Martinez was present at the event along with Naomi Proaño, Board Member Sunnyside Foundation (above, far right) and Dr. Marla Franco (above, second from right) who serves as the UA's Assistant Vice Provost for Hispanic Serving Institution Initiatives and is responsible for spearheading the university's newly bestowed HSI status.