School officials at UNC-Wilmington are on a mission to improve diversity on its campus. They are starting by recruiting students from right here in our community. Hispanic Day on UNCW's campus opens the door to endless possibilities. More than seventy high school students from New Hanover and Pender counties are allowed to take over the campus for one day, to take in college life. "It's a real learning experience, and it really makes you consider going to college and being somebody," said Pender High student Ronald Godoy. Angel Sabillon, another Pender High student said, "I also already applied to come to UNCW." "It's kind of an eye opener to a lot of them. It expands the parameters of the way they think and stop being so narrow and thinking that maybe there is a possibility that they can go to the university and obtain a degree and get a profession,” stated Heide Trask High School E.S.L teacher Jim Laramee. In the 2007-2008 school years, only 325 of UNCW's 10,000 plus students were Hispanic. Improving diversity among students is an issue faced by universities around the country. So programs such as Hispanic day are crucial to enrolling qualified students. This group ranges from 9th to 12th graders, looking to higher education. School officials said gearing them up for their future now is the key. Laramee said, "Having them understand what they need to study and how they should prepare themselves, the earlier the better." UNCW hosts visits for other minority groups throughout the school year as part of community outreach.
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