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Tarde de Familia inspires the Latino community to succeed

Palomar officials hosted an event Friday night to bring Latino students and their families to campus to hear motivational speakers and see that college is possible despite their circumstances.

“I hope it inspires people to see their potential,” Dean of Social and Behavioral Programs Jack Kahn said. “They can be successful and have a community here to support them.”

Tarde de Familia was created by Palomar Chair of Multicultural Studies Rodolfo Jacobo, Jr. with the purpose of reaching out to the community, especially those of Latino descent. Speakers of Latino origin were invited to discuss their lives and how they were able to overcome obstacles.

Jacobo said he began Tarde de Familia four years ago, where it was attended by 30 to 40 people in a small room. Now, the event was attended by five times as many people, with the Student Union at full capacity. Donations paid for the $3,000 cost of the event, he added. The local eatery Mr. Taco provided the food.

What was once a year is now every semester, as the response has been overwhelming. Attendees said the event brings the community together and has a positive effect on the community.

Palomar College student Sebastiana Antonio remarked, “It’s nice that there are people, mostly Hispanics, who go through hardships that they can do something other than stay at home. You can relate to them (the speakers) and you can actually make it.”

Marcelino Chamu Maturana, a Business Administration major at Palomar, said, “(Tarde de Familia) shows that if you come from a low-income family, you can become somebody. The speakers are there to motivate us.”

Although it’s a very stressful event to put together, Jacobo said he feels a responsibility as he was able to overcome his disadvantaged socio-economical background.

“I am very proud and it’s motivating to me that I make an impact on this community, and see the parents’ desire for change and better themselves,” he said.

Jacobo reflected on how many students have parents and/or families that crossed the border for a better future for their families. “I truly believe that we have to cross an academic frontier,” he said. “It makes it worthwhile to be exhausted to see so much power of change going on.”


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