Local organization guides first-generation Latinx students on the road to college

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Cafe Con Leche helps all students go to college but founder Gonzalo Robles said it is paramount to invest in Latinx students because they are the largest and most underserved population in the state.

“This nation has given so much to me. That’s the reason I created the cafe organization,” Robles said.

In 2007, Robles led the Cafe Con Leche initiative at the University of Texas Systems’ in Austin. Originally, it was an initiative for Latinx parents to learn more about financial aid and the college application process.

“I traveled all over the state of texas promoting a college-going culture for Latino students and we will give $1,000 for students. In one of those visits, I came here but to make a long story short, I met somebody here, my wife, and I decided to move from Austin and started the program on my own in 2011,” Robles said.

Currently, the program partners with WFISD, Vernon College and Midwestern State University. It includes forums, tutoring and a mentor program.

“With this program, I’ve grown to learn to do things on my own. Be more outgoing, outspoken,” CCL mentor Luis Camacho said.

“The program has taught me a lot just in regard to leadership skills,” CCL mentor Monse Benitez said. “In regards to just how important academics is. Also just being responsible in everything I do.”

While the organization preaches higher education and leadership to first-generation Latinx students, Robles will tell you everything they do is for the betterment of the community.

“I want any student to go to college because it’s good for the economy. But because Latinos are the largest segment and the most underserved population in the state of Texas, it’s paramount for the state and community for us to invest in Latino students,” Robles said.

An investment that not only helps students, communities and the economy, but an investment that helps achieve dreams and create a better future.

Robles also said CCL is starting a new mentoring program at MSU. MSU Latinx seniors will be paired with incoming first-generation Latinx freshmen.

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