Helping Fill the Education Skills Gap Among Latinos in Minnesota

Latino skills gap

(From left) Terry Myhre, Kaye Myhre (President & Vice President of Globe University), Dave Metzen, Juve Meza, Elia Bruggeman, Alberto Monserrate, Jesse Bethke-Gomez, and Hector Garcia

Globe University invited Hector Garcia, Executive Director of Chicano Latino Affairs Council, (CLAC) to host a Latino Education Opportunities Panel focusing on the educational skills gap within Minnesota’s Latino population. The panel concentrated on how we as a community can help more Latinos graduate high school and continue on to college.

The Latino Education Opportunities Panel included:

  • Alberto Monserrate, President of Latino Communications Network and Chair of Minneapolis Public Schools Board
  • Juve Meza, Citizens League Program Assistant  and Young Latino Community leader
  • Elia Bruggeman, Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education
  • Jesse Bethke-Gomez, Vice President of University Advancement at Metro State University

Garcia began by explaining the challenges in education Minnesota’s Latinos face. He highlighted the paradox of how Minnesota is known as a highly philanthropic state, yet we continue to see Latino students not graduating high school and continuing to college.

The panel agreed that solving this education gap requires focusing on students at a young age and working as a community (i.e.

Latino skills gap

Elia Bruggeman speaks about how we as a community need to work together to focus on the Latino youth of Minnesota.

churches, businesses, chambers, schools, etc.) to engage parents to influence their children at a young age to work hard to graduate high school and hopefully continue through to higher education.

“All children have an infinite capacity to learn,” said Jesse Bethke-Gomez. “Success in America is through education.” He stated it is our responsibility as a community to help provide children and their parents the resources to succeed as a Latino in Minnesota.

The panel concluded that we must work as a community to help fill this skills gap. Juve Mesa wrapped up his speech by commenting that what’s good for Latino students is good for all communities as a whole.

This is the second year Globe University has hosted a panel at the Woodbury, Minn., campus focusing on the Latino education skills gap with Hector Garcia. As a higher education institution, Globe is dedicated to helping fill this education skills gap by hosting panels such as these and spreading the awareness in Minnesota that there is a skills gap.