HILLSBORO - Oregon State University student, faculty and administrative leaders will host a special event in Hillsboro on Wednesday, Oct. 21, to help Hispanic-Latino students in area high schools begin preparing for college.

The event, "Si, Se Puede," is aimed at students in grades 9-12. It will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at Century High School, 2000 S.W. 234th Ave. in Hillsboro.

"The goal of the event is to promote the opportunity to attend higher education to the Latino population in Hillsboro and other areas adjacent to Portland," said Oscar Montemayor, a counselor for OSU's Educational Opportunities Program and the College Assistance Migrant Program.

Scheduled speakers at the free, public event include Paul Risser, the president of OSU; Orcilia Zuniga-Forbes, vice president for university advancement at OSU; Esther Puentes, president of Interface and a member of the Oregon University System board; Sonny Montes, Portland Public Schools Hispanic advocate; Larry Ramirez, an OSU senior majoring in business administration and a member of the OSU football team; and Jose Cortez, an OSU senior in liberal arts and a member of the OSU football team.

A panel of OSU students will discuss their own college preparations and their experiences at Oregon State. They also will answer questions from the audience.

The event will be emceed by Erlinda Gonzales-Berry, chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at OSU, and Jim Garcia, coordinator of Oregon State's Casa Educacional Education Office.

Information will be provided at the event on admissions, financial aid, housing, support services for students and other topics by request. Questions can be answered in Spanish or English, and child care will be provided.

The evening also will include food, a "family night" atmosphere, Mexican music, and a slide show outlining OSU's various cultural events.

OSU dance groups Mixtitlan and Baila con Mexico will perform.

Transportation can be provided in the Forest Grove, Portland and Beaverton areas. For more information, call toll-free to 1-888-367-3224.

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Jenny Lee, 541-737-4668