International CWS brings college-bound NHI students to Tampa
120 top-performing Latino high school students from across the United States (including Puerto Rico), the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Panama participated in the National Hispanic Institute’s International CWS program. The college admissions preparation program, hosted by the University of Tampa, was won by the team representing Villanova University.
The program included a significant contingent of Florida students, and also brought in students from as far away as California, Texas, the Northeast and the aforementioned nations. The program’s college fair included seven participating higher education institutions” Augustana College, Centre College, Earlham College, Florida International University, Texas Tech University, the University of Tampa, and Villanova University.
Former Florida Gov. Robert Martinez — the state’s first-ever Latino governor — visited the program as a special guest on its opening day.
“The International CWS lived up to its name with student attending from all over the Americas and the NHI membership,” said co-educational director Julio Cotto. “One of the reasons Tampa was selected because of the cultural intersection that is natural to the state of Florida. In particular, there are close ties between Panama and the Tampa Bay community including the host University of Tampa. I noticed the program had a strong representation from NHI host institutions like Augustana College, Villanova University, and the hosting university.”
“Students received a wide range of insight on the admissions process but then confronted the realities they are about to face leaving to go to college, for some in less than 12 months,” Cotto added. “The IBL challenges pushed students beyond their normal level of “gaming” with NHI but the results were amazing. The student delegation’s perspective ranged from new, first time NHIers from Florida to several Great Debate head coaches and numerous 4.0s. Students were able to start the week with a visit from former Florida Governor and UT alumnus Bob Martinez who set the tone for them reminding of the long term thinking they will need and environments they will have to surround themselves in order to excel and lead.”
The winning team representing Villanova included:
Luca Alessandria, Panamerican School, Panama City, Panama
Meghan Byrne, The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, Philadelphia, Penn.
Jennifer Carrasco, Plant City HS, Plant City, Fla.
Margarita Castrajon, Warren Township High School, Park City, Ill.
Cristian de la Cruz, Delano HS, Delano, Calif.
Ariel Gonzales, All Hallows HS, Bronx, N.Y.
Luis Hayes, Panamerican School, Panama City, Panama
Emily Hurwitz, The Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, Philadelphia, Penn.
Alfonzo Mendoza, San Benito HS, San Benito, Tex.
Sofia Nunez, Eastwood Academy, Houston, Tex.
Timothy Nunez, Delano HS, Delano, Calif.
Daniela Palacios Arcila, Panamerican School, Panama City, Panama
Alicia Perez, Durant HS, Plant City, Fla.
Sabrina Perez, Panamerican School, Panama City, Panama
Camilo Rodriguez, Avon Grove HS, West Grove, Penn.
Maria Simon Candenado, Panamerican School, Panama City, Panama
Anabella Valero Perez, Colegio Real de Panama, Panama City, Panama