ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Jefferson High School hosted its first Bilingual Community Engagement in the hopes to empower minority students and their families.
“It’s just an effort to show our students that we care about them and we want to show them that we want to do something special for them, for our bilingual students,” said Efrain Carlos, Jefferson’s parent liaison. “To get the parents and students involved in our communities, there’s a bunch of resources here that they’re not aware of.”
Carlos says he believes the event is needed, since about 50% of the students at Jefferson are Hispanic.
“What we’re doing now is just, really great, especially because, when I went here, we didn’t have anything like that,” Carlos said.
Several local and national organizations, including the United States Air Force, set up tables at the event, showing the students options they offer after graduation.
Tech Sgt. Natasha Smith said, “One of the jobs that the Air Force is frequently hiring for are language jobs, where you translate a foreign language into English for the government. It’s one of our hard to fill positions.”
Carlos said programs such as this would have helped him if they were available when he went to school.
“I know a lot of people I went to school with here, they didn’t have a sense of belonging. But, with this and what we’re doing with our Hispanic side, I feel like this is something that hits home, to me,” he said.
The parent liaison group says they hope to host similar events in the future.