Public invited to get information about college at Fiesta Day 2009

Students, parents and community members can get free information about college admissions, financial aid, scholarships and student support programs during Fiesta Day 2009 at 1 p.m. April 23 at the Victoria College Student Center, 2200 E. Red River.

“This is a great way to find out everything you ever wanted to know about college but were afraid to ask,” said Denee Thomas, manager of the Letting Education Achieve Dreams (LEAD) program at the University of Houston-Victoria. LEAD is organizing the event with The Victoria College.

Attendees can listen to Houston motivational speaker Willie Pickens talk about what students need to succeed in college and how families can help them. Information about taking classes at UHV and VC also will be available.

The public presentation is part of a larger Fiesta Day event. Some 300 students from five area high schools are invited to attend the daylong event. Students from Yoakum, Nixon-Smiley, Goliad and Victoria Memorial high schools are expected, along with students from the Coastal Bend College.

The students will learn about Hispanic culture from Patricia Sanchez, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

During lunch, students will be entertained by Ballet Folklorico, a community troupe of traditional Latin American dancers, and mariachi performers. They also will hear about UHV student organizations, which will be providing the meal.

“This is going to be a wonderful celebration of the area’s Hispanic culture and a great way to encourage these students to continue their educations and pursue a bright future,” Thomas said.

The event is made possible by a grant from Alcoa Foundation.

The LEAD program is an outreach effort at UHV to help Hispanic, minority, first-generation and other underrepresented populations gain the advantages offered by higher education. The efforts of the LEAD staff include mentoring new and prospective students through admission, financial aid application and registration; helping employers identify and encourage workers who would benefit from further education; and helping people return to college.

For more information, contact the LEAD office at 361-570-4893 or visit

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Thomas Doyle 361-570-4342