Every September 15th through October 15th, Latinx throughout the U.S. celebrate Latinx/Hispanic Heritage month.
But what is it exactly?
Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month was created by President Johnson (and expanded under President Reagan) as a means to give recognition to the United States’ diverse citizens. This time is a celebration of many Latin American countries’ cultures, histories, and contributions to the U.S., starting with celebrating these countries’ independence from their colonial power. Kicking off on September 15th, Central Americans from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica celebrate their independence. At midnight, Mexico follows, celebrating their independence on September 16th. While we take this time to celebrate our heritage, we also need to take a look at the impact we as Latinx are making on pursuing higher education and making moves to bring up college enrollment.
Latinx/Hispanic Higher Ed Stats
According to PEW Hispanic research reports from 2016, Latinx account for 25% of this country’s K-12 students. Approximately, 18% of Hispanic/Latinx identifying high school graduates enroll in college according to NCES from 2016. Out of that only about 15% however attain a bachelor’s degree and pursue a higher degree. While these number have dramatically increased over the last decade, Hispanics/Latinx are still pursuing a college education at a smaller percentage than other groups. As we celebrate this month recognizing the triumphs our people and our culture has brought into this society, we also need to recognize the triumphs WE have made for ourselves, our families, and our community by pursuing a college education.
Written by Margarita Mullio, Preppy’s Latinx/Hispanic Outreach Intern