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Westside Digest

Santa Monica : Orientation for Latinos

August 31, 1989

A campus tour for parents will coincide with the start of a mentor program during a three-day orientation for Latino students at Santa Monica College.

The mentor system, which will match 50 students to campus and community members, is meant to boost the students' self-esteem, said John Gonzalez, director of the college's Hispanic Student Center, sponsor of the program.

The mentors include professors, doctors, architects and public relations professionals, "nurturing people willing to go the extra mile (who) realize the students haven't had many positive role models in their lives," Gonzalez said. They will give advice on careers and school as well as invite students to their workplaces, Gonzalez said.

The program, which will run from Tuesday through Thursday, will include workshops on self-image, overcoming negative stereotypes, note-taking and time management. It is part of a drive started in February to increase the number of Latino students and help them succeed. Latinos make up more than 30% of the Los Angeles County population but only about 12% of the college's 18,000 students, college officials said.

The tour for parents will take place from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, starting at the Santa Monica College Concert Hall.

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