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College of Saint Mary welcomes 48 high school students for Latina Summer Academy

The Latina Summer Academy (LSA) is a weeklong workshop from June 21-25 for 9th and 10th grade Latina students that focuses on intensive study in math, science and technology – with the intent of promoting high school academic achievement and college matriculation for a segment of society that is often underserved and neglected. Additionally, the LSA is designed to increase the self-esteem of Latinas by addressing the societal, cultural and familial pressures they face.



This year, 16 of the LSA participants are from Missouri, with the remaining students coming from the Omaha and Council Bluffs metro areas. “It is amazing to see the dedication of these girls and their schools to attend this year’s LSA,” said Maria Luisa Gaston, director of Hispanic admissions. “I know this week will be a rewarding experience for everyone involved.”

All of the LSA activities for the week center around this year’s theme, “Food: Culture, Economic, Justice & Health Issues.” Students attend classes each morning that address a variety of topics through hands-on activities including: the global & environmental impact of food production; the science of women’s health; justice for food production workers; the science & technology of ‘slow food’ versus ‘fast food’; and the cultural diversity of food & cooking.

The rest of the days are filled with field trips to explore resources in the community, meetings with local Latina women, craft projects, recreational activities to create a healthy lifestyle, and viewings of movies such as “Food, Inc.” and “Super Size Me” that follow the week’s theme.

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