A Mother’s Message To Her Eighth Grader – “It’s Not ‘If You Go To College,’ But ‘When‘”

This week, the U.S. Department of Education released a new Spanish-language video that highlights the need for students to begin thinking about college long before they enter high school.

The video introduces Demi Moreno, an 8th grader at Whittier Health Science Academy in San Antonio, Texas, who has already set an ambitious career goal of becoming a lawyer.  We watch as Demi’s parents, teachers, principal and peers encourage her to prepare for college now — by taking tough courses, paying attention to her grades, and, most of all, having high expectations for herself.

“We began talking to our children about college on their first day of school,” says her mother, Luz Moreno.  “It was never, ‘if you go to college.’  It was always, clearly, ‘when you go to college.’ And that has always put the idea clearly in their minds that they must go to college.”

President Obama has set a goal for the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020.  By that date, to ensure a competitive workforce, at least 60 percent of U.S. adults will need to have earned a degree from a two-year or four-year institution.

The new video is called “La universidad: el sueño comienza hoy” (“College: the Dream Begins Today”) and runs approximately six minutes.  The piece is closed captioned in both English and Spanish.   Just click the “cc” button” and select the language option you prefer.

Click here for an alternate version of the video with an accessible player.