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John Adams H.S. celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with increase in Latino students

SOUTH BEND, Ind.- John Adams High School in South Bend is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. The hope is to help Latino students achieve their goals, while also building self-confidence.

On Monday, the school’s auditorium was filled with students eager to learn how to continue striving for success.

“No matter where you are, you can always accomplish your dreams,” says Andres Lara, one of the motivational speakers. “If you believe in that, you can always find a way to get that done.”

This is the fourth year the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute brings speakers to Adams, but every year the Latino population at Adams, has steadily increased.

“In regards to Spanish students, we’ve seen a huge influx of South Americans coming to the U.S. or into the South Bend area due to tragedy taking place in Venezuela, Colombia,” says Bilingual Education Specialist Savino Rivera. “This is a safe haven place.”

Savino adds that the populations of other minorities are also growing, but the Latino numbers are the ones catching his eye.

“Between 450 to 500 in this building…it’s grown by maybe 60 to 70 every year in the past couple years,” he says.

Two seniors say they’ve noticed the push for resources for all immigrant students, one example being Monday’s motivational speech.

“Being a DACA student, it’s a lot harder,” says senior Deafne Becerril. “But from what he said it’s not impossible to make my dreams come true.”

“All of us have a goal, a dream,” says Gerardo Vargas, another senior. “And we should really put our mindset to it and do whatever it takes to get that goal.”

rivera says students like these two come to achieve the American Dream and that’s what South Bend schools are here for.

“By the time the leave here, or are seniors, they have a better idea of who they want to be in life,” says Rivera. “They want to be a better citizen in the US or here in our South Bend community.”

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