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Latino Families Explore Higher Education on UVA Tour - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Latino Families Explore Higher Education on UVA Tour

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Some Albemarle County parents hope their children's dreams include a little higher learning. They got a taste of college life Friday during a visit to the University of Virginia.

Most of the Latino elementary school students thought Friday's visit to UVA was just a fun field trip with their parents during spring break - but their parents know it was more than that.    

Eva Melara is giving her daughter, Diana, a taste of history.

"She was telling me, 'Mom I heard about Thomas Jefferson at school, he was the president' and I say 'yes,' so now she's learning more of the history about him," said Melara.

But the goal of this field trip to tour the lawn isn't just to learn about Jefferson. It's to encourage those 80, young, Latino students and their parents to start thinking about college.

"We're just trying to get them while they're young and get the parents to start understanding how to support the learning," said Gloria Rockhold, community engagement manager for Albemarle County Public Schools.

The visit is meant to point these kids toward higher education.

"It's not to say that everyone will be going to a university and at the same time there's higher education goals that might be very diverse, they might be technical, but at least they have an idea," said Melara.

Melara wants to give her daughter the support she didn't have growing up.

"The parents don't really get involved with you, and I think it would be better if you feel the support from your parents since you were in kindergarten up to college," said Melara.

Melara is currently taking college courses on her days off from work to set an example for Diana.

"I cannot tell my daughter 'you have to go to college' when I didn't even try to go to college," said Melara.

She's the first person in her family to go to college, and she hopes her daughter will follow in her footsteps.

"My daughter is growing up now and I want to be an example for her, tell her 'you can do it - I did it, you can do it and you can go beyond what I did,'" said Melara.

She says it's important for parents to get involved in their children's education.

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