LONG BEACH, Calif., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — On a foggy morning, a broad coalition of leaders and community members from Long Beach came out to show their support at the first-ever FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Latino Summit at the Westin Long Beach on Nov. 20.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081120/DC47858 )
From 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. PST, the attendees of the Summit gathered together to celebrate and learn more about the FAFSA Latino Initiative in Long Beach, which aims to recruit 3,000 high school students to fill out the FAFSA online by March 2, 2009.
Keynote speakers included Christopher Steinhauser, Superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District; Fred Stennis, Federal Student Aid Underrepresented Pilot Lead; and Calvin Thomas, Federal Student Aid Division Outreach Lead.
“We’re not only going to meet our target, we’re going to be a role model for the rest of the nation,” said Superintendent Steinhauser. He, along with Federal Student Aid, pledged to secure 300 new volunteers this year to help students and families complete the FAFSA.
Attendees were given a Web Tour of the FAFSA and were introduced to the new FAFSA Latino Long Beach materials, which include public service announcements, posters, point of purchase displays and postcards. These materials will be distributed throughout the community to help raise awareness about the FAFSA and its key messages.
During the panel discussion, which included Elder Eddie Pierson from Academic UpRise, Carol Ortega from the Long Beach Unified School District, Jessica Quintana from Centro CHA, Inc., and a parent and student, panelists shared their experiences with the FAFSA and addressed challenges and barriers in the community.
The FAFSA Latino Initiative started today with the Summit, and the Initiative continues tonight at Academic UpRise’s 7th Annual Education Symposium and President’s Forum on Friday, Nov. 21 at Cal State beginning at 9 a.m.
In January, Federal Student Aid will hit the streets of Long Beach to continue grassroots marketing and outreach to raise awareness of the FAFSA.
Said Stennis, “It’s the final year of our pilot program, and we’ll be focusing on Long Beach — so we want to go out with a bang.”
For more on FAFSA, visit http://www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov
SOURCE Federal Student Aid