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On 9/30/2022, 76 Hispanic students from Warsaw Community Schools spent a day with their college mentors on Ball State campus. (Photo by Robbie Mehling)


A team building activity led by Latino Student Union for Ball State mentors and Warsaw Community School mentees

Heritage Language Maintenance and Recruitment

"It is an opportunity for [the Hispanic youths] to see that there are other Hispanics like them, here in college, and if we can do it, they can do it, too." (Paola Fernández-Jiménez, Advertising, Class of 2024)

During Fall 2022, SP305 (Spanish Grammar for Heritage Speakers) students and Isabel Vazquez-Rowe (graduate student in Creative Writing), and Diana Martínez (a former SP305 student) partnered with Warsaw Community Schools (WCS) and developed mentoring partnerships with their heritage students of Spanish. Under the direction of Professor Chin-Sook Pak, the group aimed to promote maintenance of Spanish as a heritage language and to support Hispanic youths in their pathway to college

The group aspired to become college mentors who:

  • take a personal interest in them (Hispanic youths growing up in our state);
  • encourage and believe in their potential;
  • point to the long-term value of education;
  • have walked their path and become their role models;
  • guide them with relevant information/resources.

The collaboration led to:

1) Initial virtual mentoring sessions in which BSU mentors were matched with Warsaw students sharing similar career interests. (We are grateful to Mrs. Ana Manwaring, Heritage Spanish teacher and Dr. Dani Barkley, the Assistant Superintendent at WCS.)

2) Campus visit day in which 76 youths and 4 teachers/counselors from Warsaw Community High School spent a day with BSU mentors. (We are grateful to Ball State University's Admissions Office, Dining Services, and Latino Student Union for the support they provided to make the event possible.)

3) Production of a volume of Querer es poder magazine that celebrates the wealth of linguistic and cultural experiences of heritage students of Spanish in our community. This year we have used food as the uniting theme of our creative works. (We are grateful to Ball State University's Digital Corps for helping with the layout using adobe InDesign.)

The Team (see the Team menu for details of who we are):

Eduardo Alvarez Aguilar, Noelia Arichavala, Marleny Barrera, Jazmin Castillo-Soto, Evan Chandler, Enrique Cuazitl, Engracia Felix, Paola Fernandez-Jimenez, Teresita Florentino, MacKenzie Gonzalez-Garcia, Catie Hart, Bec Herrera, Alvaro Lagunas, Kendra Loos, Diana Martinez, Miguel Naranjo, Jaqueline Ortiz Lozano, Karen Pineda-Tejeda, Isabel Vazquez-Rowe, Mario Villanueva, Alex Zavaleta, Dr. Chin-Sook Pak