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Though online, technology will make annual Feria de Educacion feel like ‘the real thing’

“360 Virtual Platform” will allow Spanish-speaking students and families to enter an auditorium and access resources and interactive workshops to help them apply to college.
Thu Sep 30, 2021

Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Sacramento State’s annual Feria de Educacion resource fair for Spanish-speaking students and families will again be held virtually.

But thanks to new technology, the online event will feel more like “the real thing,” said Viridiana Diaz, the University’s associate vice president for Strategic Student Support Programs.

Feria 2021 will feature the “360 Virtual Platform,” which will allow attendees to enter an auditorium, go to workshops, and engage with interactive displays.

“We invite participants into this virtual arena, where they can interact with universities, colleges, and organizations,” Diaz said. 

The event, now in its ninth year, is Oct. 1-2. Its goal is to empower Spanish-speaking students and parents with information and resources to help them succeed in school and inspire them to attend college.

This year the fair offers 15 workshops on topics including applying for college, college eligibility requirements, financial aid options, support for undocumented students, and the role of parents in their children’s education. The event draws thousands of participants and has grown in scope and reach every year since its debut in 2013, said Diaz.

“By providing attendees with accurate and reliable information about the college process in their home language, we help uplift the Latinx community.” - Erik Ramirez, lead coordinator for Sac State’s Strategic Student Support Programs

“Feria has played a critical role in exposing Spanish-speaking students and families to higher education for nearly a decade,” said Erik Ramirez, lead coordinator for Sac State’s Strategic Student Support Programs. “By providing attendees with accurate and reliable information about the college process in their home language, we help uplift the Latinx community.”

Friday’s opening ceremony includes remarks from educational leaders including Diaz and Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen. Univision news anchor Ilia Calderon will speak Saturday.

Participants can talk one-on-one with counselors who can help them complete admissions applications and other paperwork. Representatives will be available from the CSU and UC systems, as well as community colleges.

Workshops have been organized into “tracks” to best fit the needs of the different participants: high school students planning to apply for college, students attending community college and looking to transfer to a university, parents and guardians of students, and undocumented students and their parents. All workshops and resources are available in Spanish and English and will repeat on the second day of the fair.

In her remarks, Diaz will emphasize the importance of higher education.

“A college education continues to be the equalizer in society, and an integral part of the American dream,” she said. “Having a satisfying career also promotes better health and changes the trajectory of future generations.”

Events like Feria de Educacion, she said, “are more important than ever.”

For more information or to register, go to the Feria website.

Cynthia Hubert came to Sacramento State in November 2018 after an award-winning career writing for the Sacramento Bee. Cynthia believes everyone has a good story. She lives in East Sacramento with her two cats, who enjoy bird-watching from their perch next to the living-room window.