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School to use picture book to lure Hispanic men to college

Educators in Merced
are using fotonovelas, graphic novels popular in Mexico,
to attract Hispanic students to the local junior college.

Starting next week, Merced College will distribute a
pocket-sized book entitled “College, It’s Worth It: The Story of Antonio
Vasquez,” which chronicles the tale of a recent high school graduate who
chooses to pursue a college education to become a teacher rather than work in
the fields with his father.

The colorful books, available in both Spanish and English,
are aimed at boosting the number of Hispanic males at the school, Merced
College President Benjamin Duran said.

Last spring semester, just 1,802 Hispanic males were
enrolled, among a total population of 13,183 students, college officials said.

“Latino men, often when they get out of high school,
tend to go to work immediately,” Duran said. “We think traditionally
they get their information from media other than newspapers, television and

Last year, Duran collaborated with local law enforcement to
create another fotonovela that told the tragic, fictional story of a Hispanic
family recruited to manufacture methamphetamine for a rural drug lord.

– Associated Press

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