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The Will to Succeed

The Will to Succeed

In our cover story, “Making It Happen,” four Latina women share their stories about how they realized their educational and professional dreams despite facing various obstacles, including low cultural expectations or financial constraints. The underlying theme for each of their stories is “knowledge is power.”

Once they were armed with their educational and professional credentials, these women forged ahead and didn’t let anyone discourage them.

“In my high school, girls were expected to go on to secretarial school,” says Dr. Gloria Rodriguez, who founded the national nonprofit organization AVANCE. “A few Hispanic teachers took a tremendous interest in me and told me, ‘You can go further.’”

As you will read, these women were determined to “go further” than many people, even family members and educators, thought they could go.

When these four women were in college, men earned more than half of the bachelor’s degrees in the Hispanic community. Today, women account for 61 percent of the bachelor’s degrees earned by Hispanics each year.

I know you will be inspired by their stories.

Senior writer David Pluviose introduces us to the Community College of the Air Force, which will award its 300,000th associate degree this fall. Col. Thomas D. Klincar, commandant of the college, is the first minority to lead CCAF. And Air Force officials say the college serves as a unique recruitment tool within the military.

“The No. 1 or No. 2 reason [recruits] go into the service is for the education and training benefits available to them,” says Dr. James Larkins, CCAF’s associate dean of institutional effectiveness and campus affiliations. And the Air Force doesn’t want its servicemen to stop at the associate degree, as CCAF is on the verge of launching an articulation agreement with 20 civilian four-year colleges.

Lastly, be sure to read “Seeing a Dream Come to Fruition.” The Rev. Father Boniface Hardin, the founder and president of Martin University in Indianapolis, has presided over the university for 30 years and is stepping down in December. Hardin, who had dreams of starting a language school for Blacks, realized that he really couldn’t help anyone unless he could provide diplomas. That’s exactly what he’s done over the past few decades, primarily to adult learners. Hardin, who uses his resemblance to Frederick Douglass as a teaching tool, says Martin is more than a school; it’s a movement. His colleagues realize that Hardin will not be easy to replace.

Says dean Steve Glenn, “His heart and soul is in the school.”

Hilary Hurd Anyaso

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