Hispanic Heritage Month Kicks Off On Campus

By Raven Sanchez, Student Contributor

Did you know that PPCC is in the transition to become an official Hispanic Serving Institution? Thanks to Ben Gallegos-Pardo, Coordinator of Multicultural Retention Initiatives, it is now a major goal of the college to meet and exceed the cultural needs of Hispanic students.

Pikes Peak Community College is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month packed with celebratory events. Come get your fiesta on, Tuesday, Sept. 18, starting with a panel discussion on Hispanic Leadership, followed with delicious food!

Gallegos-Pardo says, “No matter their background, if a student has a question about education, PPCC will help them in achieving their goals.”

Many students have already felt the impact that a culturally diverse school has on their experience and overall education.

In recent years, demographics show the increase of Hispanics enrolled in school, but numbers begin falling when it comes to graduation rates. Gallegos-Pardo wants to fill this gap and it all begins in the high school classroom where he’s been talking with students about the importance of a higher education.

Nursing student Jarrett Rodriguez can validate how the school’s changes have made him more comfortable saying, “I definitely feel like I belong here… the staff treats everybody the same.”

In Gallegos-Pardo’s words, Hispanic Heritage Month is a way to “…recognize there are generations of Hispanics that have built this country.”

Coming from a Mexican-American mother and immigrant Colombian father, Gallegos-Pardo can validate that acknowledging your Hispanic heritage is an important part in knowing who you are.

He describes his family as “Being ‘American’ with the Mexican, Colombian and American flag flying over us.”

PPCC has heard the students and is answering with several Hispanic Inclusive events.

Hispanic Heritage Month Events
Come embrace rich Hispanic culture with these exciting events. PPCC’s first Hispanic President and newly hired Colorado Community College System President, Joe Garcia will be in attendance at the September 18 event.

Sept. 18
Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration & Panel Discussion with CCCS President Joe Garcia
2-4 p.m., Centennial Campus, Theater and Grove
Free and open to the community

2 p.m.  l  President Garcia and Dr. Bolton Address, Centennial Campus, Theater

2:10-3 p.m. l  Panel Discussion, Centennial Campus, Theater
A panel of six Hispanic professionals in education, military, business, social services will discuss Hispanic Leadership.

3-4 p.m.  l  Fiesta, Centennial Grove

Mariachi & salsa music and Hispanic treats including pan dulce, empanadas and pupusas.

Sept. 22
El Cinco De Mayo Inc. 35th Annual Car Show and Fiesta
10 a.m.-5 pm., Centennial Campus, Parking Lot C
More than 200 cars on display, live music, family entertainment, food, crafts, non-profit vendors, community resources and PPCC demonstrations and admissions information. Proceeds help fund scholarships for area college students.

Sept. 26

Latin Food Truck. All PPCC Campuses.

First week of October
Immigration and DACA Services and Support Event

Catholic Charities, United We Dream will have information tables. Students and family gather for an “Out of the Shadows Event” in support of those affected by DACA.

Oct. 10
Hispanic Heritage Month Parade of Nations Fiesta
Noon-2 p.m., Centennial Campus, Aspen Building, The Grove
Performances, food and music. Students encouraged to wear clothing, flags and sports memorabilia representing and supporting Hispanic heritage.

Hispanic Heritage month is significant in that it reminds Hispanics to honor their family history and to be proud of their heritage. Come out and celebrate these unique and beautiful cultures.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.