(July 8, 2011)--It was an Independence day to remember for hundreds of at-risk and foster-care teens. On July 7 at the UTSA Downtown Campus, 300 at-risk teens and teens who have either recently aged-out or are preparing to age out of the state foster-care system were treated to a full day of empowerment and knowledge at the Independence Day Career and Education Conference.
The show-and-tell conference featured workshops and presentations to help participants discover and assess their passions and talents. It also featured information on health care fields in the military as well as careers in banking, real estate, teaching, STEM careers, careers as a civil servant and careers in the arts.
The conference, themed "Discover: The Quest to Realize Your Destiny," was hosted by the UTSA Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) and BCFS Health and Human Services in conjunction with the U.S. Army.
"This was a fantastic collaborative effort between UTSA, other colleges and universities, as well as professional partners to showcase post-secondary educational opportunities for area foster youth, while also fulfilling UTSA's commitment to community outreach and educational awareness," said Sophia Ortiz, assistant director of the UTSA CAPRI/Mexico Center.
Activities took place in the Durango and Buena Vista buildings and included a college fair complete with information tables from area technical and four-year universities like UTSA and UT Austin.
But the spotlight of the day took place in the Bill Miller Plaza where the Army Stryker ambulance, Army field surgical unit and various Army medical tables, including Army veterinary science, were displayed courtesy of Camp Bullis and the Army Medical Department Center and School. Not to be outdone, the San Antonio Fire Department captivated participants with their emergency response vehicles, including of course, a fire engine.
Teens even had a taste of real-time firefighting quickness as the gear they were trying on had to hurriedly be given back to the firefighters who were called out on an actual emergency.
The day ended with a motivational discussion from basketball Hall of Famer Nevil Shed and Corey Winfield of Bandera Road City Church on the importance of discovering one's purpose and passion.
The conference is part of planned activities presented by UTSA's Access Center, developed from a grant provided by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development/Hispanic Serving Institutions Assisting Communities.
Harriett Romo, UTSA professor of sociology and director of the Bank of America Child and Adolescent Policy Research Center (CAPRI) received the three-year, $600,000 grant in 2010. The funding is being used to create programs for foster-care youth that will encourage and assist them in planning for college.
State Rep. Diego Bernal presents a Q&A panel discussion with MALDEF, RAICES and DMCA Immigration Law Firm about DACA and the current state of affairs for Dreamers. Opening remarks by Congressman Joaquin Castro and Congressman Lloyd Doggett.
Buena Vista Building, Aula Canaria Auditorium (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
Come out and enjoy breakfast and beverages at the Official UTSA Tailgate in Albuquerque as our Roadrunners take on the New Mexico Lobos at the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. The official UTSA tailgate will be located in Fan Fest in the University Stadium Parking Lot, Stadium East.
University Stadium parking lot, Albuquerque, NM
Graduates from the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, College of Business, College of Education and Human Development and the College of Public Policy will participate in the first commencement ceremony. President Romo will deliver the keynote address.
Graduates from the College of Engineering, College of Liberal and Fine Arts, College of Sciences and University College will participate in the second commencement ceremony. President Romo will deliver the keynote address.
All UTSA students, faculty and staff are invited to march with UTSA in the 30th annual MLK March. There will be a FREE shuttle from the UTSA Main Campus. Pick up in front of the Convocation Center at 8:30 a.m. Depart from UTSA at 9 a.m. Buses return to UTSA at 1 p.m
Convocation Center, Main Campus
UTSA's Department of Music hosts Dr. David Huron from Ohio State University as part of the Donald Hodges lecture series. Huron is a Canadian arts and humanities distinguished professor at Ohio State University.
John Peace Library, UTSA Faculty Center, (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus
The Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion annually hosts a Volunteer Opportunities Fair to allow students, faculty and staff to learn about volunteer and service-learning opportunities in the San Antonio area.
University Center, 1st floor corridor, Main Campus
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