Latin Family Circle celebrates educational successes
May 5, 2009
LANCASTER – Hispanic and Latino students at the Lancaster Campus of HACC and their families are invited to the annual Circulo Familiar Recognition Program and Picnic at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, on the patio by Footnotes Café.
Guest speakers will be HACC alumni Fran M. Rodriguez, campus coordinator of PA College Access Challenge Grant Program at McCaskey East High School, and Edalmira Rivera, a science teacher with the School District of Lancaster. Faculty and other members of Circulo Familiar will answer questions and provide information about further educational opportunities at HACC and within the Lancaster community.
Invitations have been sent to the more than 450 Hispanic/Latino students currently enrolled at the Lancaster Campus, as well as to the 25 Hispanic/Latino students who graduated with associate degrees in December and the 10 candidates for graduation during spring commencement on May 16.
 “We have a strong Hispanic and Latino community at HACC and it is growing,” said Joy Garcia Tien, professor of counseling. “It is easy to get these students in but retaining them is another story. Hispanic and Latino students undergo an extreme amount of family pressures to get a job ? oftentimes at the expense of their education.” 
Ruthy Lozano, a business studies major and student worker in the counseling and advising office, appreciates the support she finds from fellow students in Circulo Familiar. “Everybody’s struggle is different; by sharing our stories, we gain the confidence to overcome barriers and accomplish our goals of getting a good education,” Lozano said.
“I am excited to be near the end,” said Angela M. Rosario, who will graduate this spring from the nursing program. The importance of Circulo Familiar is “being a role model for others, especially those interested in the nursing program,” said Rosario, adding that her accomplishment is a message to other students that goals can be achieved.
Circulo Familiar is a retention program launched in September 2006 with a special initiative grant from the HACC Foundation and is being piloted at the Lancaster Campus. The program is designed to partner with families of Hispanic and Latino college students to provide an academic liaison and mentor support to the student and family on issues such as financial aid, maintaining good academic progress, test taking/anxiety, time management and stress management.
 “HACC is committed to increasing retention of our students and this program in particular targets our Hispanic and Latino students. Circulo Familiar allows us to offer support to ensure these students’ educational success while remaining sensitive to the needs of their family,” said Brad A. Wolf, Dean of Academic Affairs at the Lancaster Campus.
            “Whether it is a student’s mother, second cousin or neighbor? students are encouraged to bring their support system to this informational and fun day,” said Tien.
For more information about Circulo Familiar, please contact Joy Garcia
Tien at HACC Lancaster Campus at 358-2988, or email For information in Spanish, call 358-2988 and ask for Irma Alicia Villarreal or Al Hopkins, or email or
Circulo Familiar students who earned associate degrees in December include: Aramis J. Cordero, Marlene Cortinas, Veronica Cotton, Berioska M. De La Cruz, Jennifer M. Emlet, Misty R. Fornwalt, Eda Hernandez, Jane Marrero, Katty I. Medina-Rivera, Rosa J. Mercado, Alexis Morales, Maria E. Myers, Simone M. Perez, Maria E. Plaksin, Yvette Ramos, Elvin Rivera, Carlos A. Rivera, Madelyn Rivera, Melissa R. Rodriguez, Daniel J. Rodriguez, Eduardo Rosado, Clarisa B. Rosario, Veronica M. Taguilas, Elena I. Torres, Silvia A. Veliz.
Current students who are candidates for graduation this spring include: Priscila R. Arias, Andres Gonzalez, Marrissa A. Gonzalez, Miguel Laureano, Iris G. Lopez, Vivian A. Lopez, Sheila B. Pitsinelis, Barbara Quero, Angela M. Rosario, Sebastian E. Villamil.
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