Now a Linfield psychology major, Garcia first attended the summit last year as a senior at Sam Barlow High School. The experience reinforced his decision to pursue a college education.
“It was one of the most amazing events that I had ever participated in,” says Garcia, who is also a member of the Linfield College Latinx Adelante (LCLA). “It breaks the traditional norm of what a typical male Latino should do later on in life by changing the mindset.”
Linfield will host the summit on Friday, March 6. The day-long event will include workshops and seminars providing culturally specific mentorship and support for Latino men. Last year, attendance soared with more than 400 participants and this year the program is expecting similar attendance.
Since 2000, Oregon’s Latinx population has grown 72 percent. And while more Latinos are going to college, Latino men are earning degrees at a far slower pace than women. For every five associate and bachelor degrees awarded to the Latino community, only two are awarded to Latino males.
The Mente Summit addresses barriers facing Latinos going to college, says Gerardo Ochoa, special assistant to the president and director of community relations.
“Gender inequities exist among Latinx students pursuing a higher education,” said Ochoa. “We are happy to collaborate with high schools, colleges and community partners to promote higher education among Latinx males.”