Latina teenagers will experience college at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 27, 2011 — Fourteen Latina teenagers from southwest Missouri will spend a week at Drury University from June 28-July 1 for the second year of the Campamento de Alumnas Hispanas (Summer Camp for Latina girls).

The girls taking part in the program are 7th and 8th grade, self-identified Latinas from the Springfield, Aurora and Monett areas. The students will live in Drury dormitories and eat in the university’s cafeteria during their stay. There is no cost to the campers.

While on campus, participants will engage in a variety of academic sessions facilitated by Drury faculty. Topics will include: adolescent literature, creative writing and computer programming among other topics. These academic sessions will be interspersed with non-academic programming, including: jewelry-making, self-defense, swimming, canoeing and hiking. All activities are intended to expose the girls to a variety of ideas that will help them reflect on their own identities in new ways while providing ample time for reflection and dialogue.

The project is led by Drs. White and Rebecca Denton from the School of Education and Child Development along with assistance from other Drury faculty and recent graduates.

Participants in the program will be afforded opportunity to consider their past (through their heritage), their present (as young women, as Latinas, and as residents of the United States), and their futures (as they consider future career and family choices). The final presentation, given at the end of the week for the families of the participants will be an opportunity to showcase all they have learned.

This project, in its second year, will provide opportunity for young female members of the Latino community to re-conceptualize their identities in a way that will include more possibilities and more career choices for them says Dr. White, “Placing young women on a university campus and allowing them to explore their possible futures will hopefully empower them to make more informed decisions regarding post-secondary education.”

Media Contact:
Dr. Jayne White
Professor, School of Education & Child Development
Office: (417) 873-7260
Mobile: (417) 569-3712