Entertainment

These Lucky Graduates Are Putting Their Culture Front And Center With Their Grad Looks

Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic minority in the United States and are less than half as likely to get a college degree than non-Latino white adults. The gap is even wider between immigrant Latinos and U.S.-born Latinos.

We’re celebrating the Latinos that are walking across stages this graduation season and using their platform to spread a message against xenophobia, an expression of gratitude for their family or straight up Latino pride.

Every moment captured in this post was more than just four years of work.

@JenJimenez63 / Instagram

It spans generations. Growing up Latino, we all know how important education is to our parents. They would and have sacrificed everything just so we could get an education. It opens doors.

These moments open exclusive doors for a real opportunity to live a good life.

@mindofmolina / Instagram

“Esta es pa’ mi genteeee!!! Honduras ????????????4 good years at TCU, let’s go get this moneeeey now #FirstGen #TCU #2019#GradSzn”

But there’s no going forward without pride in your roots.

@mr_isai / Instagram

“Sí Se Pudo! Dedicated to my #immigrant #graduate #immigrad (s). You/We deserve to succeed, when given the opportunity, we shine. #cipotes  #SalviPride”

So we acknowledge the obstacles (queer, brown, first generation) and take pride in them.

@thecesarcamacho / Instagram

“There will never be a wall high enough to keep Latinos from slaying! The challenges we go through as minorities only make us stronger and make us appreciate the hard work our ancestors had to go through. We not only walk down the stage for ourselves but most importantly for our families and those who’ve paved the way for us to have a voice. I don’t know how I’ll ever thank my parents enough for the sacrifices they’ve had to go through as Mexican immigrants in this country, but what I do know is that I’ll make sure to bring other Latinos on this path to continue giving corporate America some flavor (porque ya sabemos muy bien que le falta sazón!!!)! Can’t wait to walk again on Saturday and receive my Masters as a proud, first generation, queer, resilient LATINO ????????‍????????????????????????????”

No matter how much half of Americans want to use who we are as roadblocks, nos vamos pa’lante.

@ashleyy_gonzalezzz / Instagram

Undocugraduates are overcoming statistics like nearly nobody else in America. Keep on dreaming, Dreamers. You make everything seem possible.

Let the migrating butterflies symbolize a forever path forward.

@ChrisFariasTV / Instagram

“FIRST GENERATION UNDOCUGRAD. When I was told by a teacher that my education would stop after graduating high school, I decided to prove him wrong. I am a PROUD Mexican from Uruapan Michoacán y esto es para toda mi gente. Nos graduamos!! #Dreamer #UndocuGrad”

Some graduates are going from high school to their freshman year of college.

@dirtyvysionari / Instagram

“I am an undocumented immigrant raised in the Bay. I am an American at heart with a Mexican lineage. I am a recently admitted UC Berkeley Student for Spring of 2017. I am a mentor to the youth and the homeless. I am a child of God. And I am a graduate from Skyline College. I am no rapist no criminal no killer. Only a dreamer. To my fellow dreamers, don’t let others disparage your value because of your origins. These ethnocentric views will never prevail because they lack humanity. Remember, the shadows will never consume you because light will always be within you.”

This college grad wants to let freshman know to hold onto a sense of humor.

@augie409 / Instagram

“‘No pos… ‘ta cabron!’ is loosely translated to ‘Well shit… that’s tough!’, and has become a popular meme in Latino culture…Nearly everything that could’ve gone wrong during my time in Graduate School went wrong ???? My parents taught me to always work hard and to trust God no matter how high the odds were stacked against us. They advised me to always find peace in the midst of chaos and still have a sense of humor whenever things do not go as planned. Pops taught me to always walk with my head high and respond accordingly to unfortunate events, and to not react negatively and sulk in misery. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my friends and family that have helped me, supported me, and inspired me along the way. I appreciate ya! In the last two weeks, I had essays/projects/presentations to finish as a graduate student and a softball team I was still caring for as an Athletic Trainer. I was running through things in an attempt of completing everything, and I was doing quite well. In a span of two days I was in two car accidents roughly two weeks before graduation; one at work & one on the way home from my Capstone presentation. The deployment of the airbag was honestly a huge slap in the face and wake up call for me, literally. ????It opened my eyes to be thankful that I walked away with only a broken finger, and it taught me to slow down a bit so I could enjoy my accomplishments surrounded by those I love. I called my Pops & all he said was, “No pos… ‘ta cabron! Gracias a Dios que estás vivo.”/“Well shit… that’s tough! Thank God you’re alive.” Yo sobresali con los consejos de mi padre y los rezos de mi madre./I excelled with my father’s advice & mother’s prayers.”

Felicidades to all the graduates!

@jorge.am / Instagram

“This past weekend I had the privilege of graduating from THE Florida State University. Never did I imagine I would be the first in my family to graduate from a public university, debt free. Although, I couldn’t have done it alone, thank you to all my family, friends and mentors throughout this crazy journey… I’ll always be grateful and indebted to CARE and FSU for this amazing opportunity.”

READ: 22 #Immigrad Graduation Caps That No Dummy Can Ignore

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A Judge Has Ruled That The University of California System Can No Longer Use SAT And ACT Tests For Admissions And It’s A Huge Win For The Underprivileged

Things That Matter

A Judge Has Ruled That The University of California System Can No Longer Use SAT And ACT Tests For Admissions And It’s A Huge Win For The Underprivileged

Kevork Djansezian / Getty

Advocates against the use of standardized tests for college admissions have long argued that the use of such exams sets back students from underprivileged backgrounds and those who have disabilities. Aware of the leg up it gives to privileged and non-disabled students an advantage in the admittance process, they’ve rallied for schools to end such practices.

And it looks like they’ve just won their argument.

A judge has ruled that the University of California system can no longer use ACT and SAT tests as part of their admissions process.

Brad Seligman is the Alameda County Superior Court Judge who issued the preliminary injunction in the case of Kawika Smith v. Regents of the University of California on Tuesday. The plaintiffs in Kawika Smith v. Regents of the University of California include five students and six organizations College Access Plan, Little Manila Rising, Dolores Huerta Foundation, College Seekers, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and Community Coalition.

In his decision, Judge Seligman underlined that the UC system’s “test-optional” policy on UC campuses has long given privileged and non-disabled students a chance at a “second look” in the admissions process. According to Seligman, this “second look” denies such opportunities to students who are unable to access the tests.

The decision is a major victory for students with disabilities and from underprivileged backgrounds.

News of the decision comes on the heels of the university system’s ruling to waive the standardized testing requirements until 2024.

In May, a news release asserted that if a new form of a standardized test had not been developed by 2025, the system would have to put an end to the testing requirement for California students. On Monday, the judge’s ruling took things further by banning the consideration of scores from students who submit them all together.

“The current COVID 19 pandemic has resulted in restrictions in the availability of test sites,” Seligman wrote in his ruling. “While test-taking opportunities for all students have been limited, for persons with disabilities, the ability to obtain accommodations or even to locate suitable test locations for the test is ‘almost nil.'”

A spokesperson for the University of California said the university “respectfully disagrees with the Court’s ruling.”

“An injunction may interfere with the University’s efforts to implement an appropriate and comprehensive admissions policies and its ability to attract and enroll students of diverse backgrounds and experiences,” the spokesperson said. According to the spokesperson, the UC system is considering further legal action in the case. The system said that its testing has allowed for an increase in admission of low-income and first-generation-to-college-students for the fall of 2020.

With UC being the largest university system in the country, Seligman’s ruling is a massive deal. Students and advocates have long fought for the elimination of these standardized tests arguing that they do not accurately reflect a student’s academic ability.

“Research has repeatedly proved that students from wealthy families score higher on the SAT and ACT, compared to students from low-income families,” reports CNN. It’s important to note that the analysis by Inside Higher Ed revealed that the “lowest average scores for each part of the SAT came from students with less than $20,000 in family income. The highest scores came from those with more than $200,000 in family income.”

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FIERCE Maestras Are Giving Newbie Teachers Career Advice And It’s Basically The Sweetest Thing

Fierce

FIERCE Maestras Are Giving Newbie Teachers Career Advice And It’s Basically The Sweetest Thing

Joe Raedle / Getty

No matter what experiences you’ve had as a student, hopefully you have had at least a handful of teachers who left good impressions on you. As a whole class of students from this year graduate and become teachers themselves, we wanted to ask veteran maestras for advice on how to continue the cycle of positivity.

In a recent post to our Instagram page we asked all our FIERCE maestras, what advice do they have for a new teacher and boy did they deliver!

Check out the replies below!

Stay nourished.

“Advice: eat during your break girl and practice self-care.” – la_misses_m

Take it easy.

“Take it one day at a time. At times you will doubt yourself but push through the all the challenges. Always remember why you are there, which is to teach your students. You got this!! Good luck!!” – erixcii

Make sure you’re feeding your relationships.

“Focus on relationships above everything. Relationships with your students and their families!”- allirousey

Don’t forget to build relationships with your students.

“Self-care and building relationships with your students and families!!” – jazzyfue

And definitely remember to trust yourself.

“I’m an SLP, but I would tell her to trust herself!! You got this! You know your kids and you talents!” – maryoso_moli

Self-care Sundays shall your temple.

“Practice Self-care and build relationships with students. Remember to always be kind to the janitors/grounds keepers/ clerical staff (they make our jobs easier). Consider keeping a scrap book or journal of sweet notes and emails that you can look through on the tough days. Always teach with your heart and with a growth mindset; never get complacent because our profession is ever changing and we will likely never have the exact same group of kiddos again. Keep learning from your coworkers (what to do and what not to do), from your students, insta teachers, workshops, and personal experience (make notes to yourself in your planner for next year). Being organized has saved me, even on the most hectic days. Always have a back up lesson available. Empathy is key! Take. Days. Off. I know lesson plans are time consuming, but your mental health is worth prioritizing.” – cmirene

Know it gets better over time.

“The first year may be hard, but it gets better and better every year.”- yulzzzz5

Don’t be a Yes Ma’am.

“Advice: learn to say no. You’ll be super compelled to go more than above and beyond because it’s all for the kids and as much as I ADORE AND LOVE my students just as I am sure you will you need some you time. I started being the only teacher at school functions and being stressed about helping my high schoolers have the best time that I was drowning. Love them but love yourself too! You deserve you time.” – del_ranita

Don’t be a shrinking violet.

“Don’t shrink yourself to make your whyte colleagues feel comfortable. Connect with other teachers of color and ask for/give support. Lead with love for your students. They should always come first.”- queenurbie

Be an authentic leader.

“My one piece of advice is to invest time in getting to know your students, their stories and be your authentic self with them. Kids love knowing that their teachers are people and are just like them.” – meerehyah@educatinglittleminds 

And finally, remember ya live and learn!

“I remember I used to always want to be “perfect” for them and would fear making mistakes or letting them see me when things wouldn’t go right. When a lesson didn’t work out as planned. I learned to let that go and to let them see me make mistakes. It is okay! And it is okay to admit it. They’ll appreciate it! Teaches them that we aren’t all perfect and we all make mistakes-it’s a part of life. Teach on and be You! They’ll love every piece of you.” – su_heeey

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