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New promotional video encourages Hispanic families to consider CMC

For the Silva family, it used to be the expectation after their children graduated high school was that they would go to work and help support the family.

So, when Eduardo and Maria Isabel Silva’s daughter, Yesenia (now Arreola), graduated from Carbondale’s Roaring Fork High School in 2005 and was awarded an Alpine Bank Hispanic Scholarship to attend Colorado Mountain College, it took a change in attitude to embrace the concept.

Arreola not only went on to graduate from CMC, but earned $40,000 in scholarships to attend Regis University in Denver. She graduated from Regis with honors as the top accounting student in her class.



Their family story is now the subject of a CMC promotional video designed to encourage Hispanic families to consider a college education for their children, and to support them if they do decide to go to college.

“Latino families often make decisions as a family around economic considerations,” said CMC Marketing and Communications Director Doug Stewart. “We run into it a lot, even if a student gets a scholarship, they’ll attend classes for a while and then quit because the family says they need them to work.



“So, the idea was to tell a story of a family where it did work out, where it did change their attitudes along the way about education, and how that flowed into the next generation,” Stewart said.

Arreola was the first in her family to attend college after her family came to the Roaring Fork Valley several years ago from Chihuahua, Mexico.

“For me family is everything,” she says in the video, titled Para Ti, Para Tu Familia (For You, For Your Family).

“For me to go through something new and strange, something no one in my family had gone through, it was very important to feel that support, to feel we were all united,” she said.

Although her parents supported her and wanted her to succeed, they were still reluctant at first.

“I said, ‘With what? With what money am I going to give her an education?'” her mother, Maria Isabel, recalls in an interview for the video.

“It seemed impossible that she would be able to go; especially to be able to get to university as she did,” her father, Eduardo said.

CMC provided the ideal transition, because it was close to home and her parents could see that she was actually studying and working hard to achieve her goals, they explain.

“Now I see it can be very easy, and I can give a message to the community and to other parents that it is not difficult,” Maria said.

The transfer to Regis was another challenge, but, “my family supported me and told me to stay,” Arreola said. “With everyone’s help, and with time, I was better, I felt calmer and was able to successfully finish.”

Graduating with a four-year degree has also been an inspiration for her younger siblings, who also now want to continue on to college, and even her older brother, Daniel.

“I would like my two children to go,” he says in the video. “I’ll support them 100 percent, and I’ll help them with everything I can.”

“Before, education after high school was never spoken of in my home,” her younger sister, Maribel, said. “It was more about going to work after high school, but now my parents support me.”

The video is in Spanish, but comes with English subtitles. Stewart said it will be distributed to high school and middle school counselors within the CMC district to use as a resource for students.

“We would like to have it shown in places where there can be some discussion afterwards as well,” he said. “We are hoping schools will see it as a valuable resource to them.”

The video is in final production for distribution, and has also since been posted on YouTube, at http://www.youtube.com/user/cmceagle#p/u/0/RPgRe6gZyBQ

jstroud@postindependent.com


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