Coffee, community create connections


Staff Reporter

Amarillo College hosted the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s “Café con Nosotros,” which means ‘Coffee with Us’ in English, in collaboration with the Hispanic Student Association in the Oak Room Jan. 27. 

The theme for the event was “success is careers and connections,” with the purpose of giving AC students opportunities to network with professionals from the Hispanic community.

Jamie Perez, AC director of transfer services and co-sponsor of the Hispanic Student Association (HSA), said that the goal of the collaboration is to “help our Hispanic students get connected with the workforce.” 

The event featured prominent members of Amarillo’s Hispanic community; Paola Albarran, a news anchor and executive producer at KEYU Telemundo, Ana Ramirez, a senior business consultant at America’s small business development center at WTAMU and Liz Rascón Alaniz, the executive director of Wesley Community Center. 

“I hope students feel like they’re not alone and feel connected to their culture by the end of our discussion,” Alaniz said. Eli Marquez, HSA vice president, agreed, saying that he hopes the event gave students the chance to interact with community. “As students, it’s pretty hard to stand out and this is an opportunity to really put themselves out there,” he said. 

The HSA has previously collaborated with Los Barrios de Amarillo and they hope to continue working with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Café con Nosotros” is part of the partnership between AC and Excelencia in Education, a group that focuses on improving Latino student success in higher education. 

Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart is part of their Presidents for Latino Student Success program, which describes itself as “a diverse group of college and university presidents and chancellors who have committed to making their institutions learning environments where Latino students thrive.” 

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