Hermanos inspire Latino students to succeed in school

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — Roughly 20 South San Francisco High School students have new “brothers” this year through a Skyline College program that tries to provide positive role models to young Latino males.

The first-year program attempts to increase educational opportunities for the students by addressing their academic, psychological and social needs through mentoring and academic support.

The 20 South San Francisco High School students have been meeting every Monday and Wednesday after school this year since the President’s Innovation Fund from Skyline ponied up $10,000 to start the program.

“We’ve focused on their motivation, their values, and getting them to realize there needs to be some change in their life,” program coordinator Luis Escobar said.

“If they know what they need to overcome, then they can come up with some strategies to overcome those obstacles,” Escobar said.

Such obstacles include societal stereotypes and familial expectations, as some Hispanic males in school aren’t expected to graduate, much less go on to college because nobody expects them to. And no one pushes them to, he added, noting that those obstacles limit the resources and information available to the students.

“These students are very aware, and they feel sometimes that the school system has low expectations for them,” Escobar said. “That reduces their expectations.”

All the students taking part in the “Hermanos” program except for one have a sub-2.0 grade-point average. The program brings together different influences — the educational system, the families and the other Hermanos students — to push a student to succeed.

“We’re promoting educational achievement and positive personal development,” Skyline College’s director of marketing, Sandy Irber said. “The whole point is to help them bridge the gap into college.”

“There’s a real need tohelp Latino students foster their ability to think of college as an achievable goal,” she said.

According to statistics with the California Department of Education, three percent of Hispanic students in San Mateo County — 250 students, the most of any ethnic group in the county — dropped out during the 2004-2005 school year. They made up 26.4 percent of the county’s graduates during the same year.

At South San Francisco High School, Hispanic students made up 43.7 percent of the 1,567 students in 2005-2006. In 2004-2005, according to California Department of Education statistics, 1.5 percent of Hispanic students at the school — 10 of the 654 enrolled in the high school — dropped out during the school year. They made up 33.6 percent of the school’s graduates during the same year.

dsmith@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Construction in the Better Market Street Project between Fifth and Eighth streets is expected to break ground in mid-2021.<ins></ins>
SFMTA board to vote on Better Market Street changes

Agency seeks to make up for slimmed-down plan with traffic safety improvements

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Currey (30) tallied 26 points and seven assists at Monday night’s game against the Lakers. (Chris Victorio for the S.F. Examiner).
Warriors overcome 19-point deficit to stun defending-champion Lakers 115-113

Ladies and gentlemen, the Golden State Warriors are officially back. Stephen Curry… Continue reading

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks during an event to name President-elect Joe Biden’s economic team at the Queen Theater on Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/TNS)
Kamala Harris to resign from Senate

Bridget Bowman CQ-Roll Call Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign from the… Continue reading

A view of Science Hall at the City College of San Francisco Ocean campus on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
CCSF begins search for next chancellor amid new challenges

‘It’s arguably the biggest single responsibility the board has,’ trustee says

Some people are concerned that University of California, San Francisco’s expansion at its Parnassus campus could cause an undesirable increase in the number of riders on Muni’s N-Judah line.<ins></ins>
Will UCSF’s $20 million pledge to SFMTA offset traffic woes?

An even more crowded N-Judah plus increased congestion ahead cause concern

Most Read