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Latino Resource Association Co-hosts Summer Enrichment Event

 On July 29, 2011, the Chicago Fed's Latino Resource Association (LRA) partnered with the National Society of Hispanic MBAs Chicago (NSHMBA Chicago) Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) to host a group of high school students at the Bank in the final part of a four-week business and college prep course.

During their visit, students learned about the Fed at the Money Museum and lunched with Bank managers Deb Baldwin, Cynthia Castillo, Oscar Cervantes, Hilario Gonzales, Jeremy Lewis, Gustavo Lira and Alejo Torres to learn more about their backgrounds and individual roles. During a panel discussion, SEP students heard from Kaasha Benjamin, Gustavo Lira, Nancy Paniagua and Carlos Torres about their personal journey to college and the importance of continuing education for the future.


LRA members Johanna Perez, Rodrigo Garcia and Reynaldo Solivan were among the corporate volunteers who facilitated the summer classes.

"[The program] was challenging," said Solivan. "Getting the time to teach, putting together a plan, and making sure that [the] time out of the Bank was covered were difficult, but it was extremely rewarding. You feel like you're giving back a little bit of what you've gotten over the years through your experience with the education system."

Perez enjoyed the opportunity to share her business knowledge with the students and get them to ask questions about the topic. "It was a rewarding experience for me, but what's more important is that students are now ahead of the game in some areas of business which may benefit them in the future," she said.

Both say they hope the students' SEP experience will open doors to more opportunities in the future because of the knowledge they acquired through the program. They also believe students' willingness to learn will not stop here, but expand as they continue to grow and mature in their lives.

Students also received one-on-one feedback from volunteers as part of their final SEP project. The volunteers critiqued students' business plan design and execution, and offered advice for future entrepreneurship. The day concluded with a presentation on communication skills from Dan Proft, radio host for WLS 890AM.

Since 1992, SEP has been providing high school students with the skills and knowledge necessary for college success. The program seeks to motivate students to achieve their goals through mentoring and interaction in a university setting. For four weeks, students are immersed in free classes hosted at DePaul University, covering core skills in business, college prep, communications and current affairs. Students are chosen for the program through an application and interview process. The program is highly selective, with hundreds of applications received every year. To learn more about the program, please visit the event website.

LRA would like to thank the SEP Planning Committee members, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, HR, and all of the volunteers who helped make this event a great success.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413, USA. Tel. (312) 322-5322

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