Meredith College welcomed The Honorable Javier Díaz de León, the Consul General of Mexico in Raleigh, to campus for an event celebrating the success of Meredith’s Latina students.
The Consul General and members of his staff participated in a luncheon on November 18, 2013, with Meredith President Jo Allen.
Representatives from the Triangle Community Foundation, the Tomorrow Fund, the NC Society of Hispanic Professionals, the Chatham County Schools, and the Triangle for Latino Student Success Program also attended, along with Meredith administrators, staff and students.
President Allen talked about the College’s efforts to “ensure that the composition of Meredith College’s student body is representative of the State's population.”
Nearly 10 percent of Meredith’s incoming freshman class in 2013 are Latina students. There are 135 Latina undergraduate students at Meredith.
“North Carolina's largest emerging population is from Hispanic backgrounds, and as a women's college, we are committed to ensure success of all of our students, including our Hispanic and Mexican students,” Allen said. “Meredith believes strongly that all qualified students ought to have the opportunity for college regardless of background or personal circumstance.”
Meredith College has established many recruitment and retention strategies to reach the Latina student population. One of these is a college planning tool kit for families that explains the college admissions and financial assistance process in both English and Spanish.
Latina students are finding success at Meredith College. The Latina freshman to sophomore retention rate exceeds the cohort rate, and the four-year graduation rate for the Fall 2008 Latina student cohort was nearly four points higher than the total cohort rate.
The Consul General praised Meredith College for its efforts, and praised the Latina students in attendance.
“Meredith College is setting an example,” de León said. “No state’s Latino population has grown as dramatically as North Carolina’s in the last ten years. This is a source of tremendous opportunity but also enormous challenges. Meredith students are setting an example by becoming a part of this community.”
At the event’s conclusion, President Allen and Consul General de León signed a memorandum of understanding, formalizing a partnership between Meredith College and the Consulate of Mexico in Raleigh to support education of students from Mexico.
The agreement includes an IME-Becas Scholarship funded in part by a donation from the government of Mexico. Nine Meredith students have received the IME-Becas Scholarship, which is open to students of Mexican-origin who have strong records of academic achievement.
Photos show Meredith College President Jo Allen with The Honorable Javier Díaz de León, the Consul General of Mexico in Raleigh (top photo) and Meredith students Jazmin Mendoza-Sosa, '16, and America Moreno, '14, leading a discussion during the event.