Bienvenida de Regreso a NOVA!

(Photo: NOVA and VALHEN have had a long-standing partnership for more than 10 years. Encuentro 2018 was hosted at NOVA-Annandale under President Scott Ralls.)

The Virginia Latino Higher Education Network will present its 2019 Annual Meeting on March 14 at George Mason University (GMU). Join them at the Encuentro for networking and a cafecito at 8:30 a.m. at GMU’s Merten Hall, Room 1201, and stay for two fireside chats, a delicious lunch, and an interactive workshop with Professor Ricardo Vivancos-Perez. Listen to the keynote speaker, Commander Carlos del Toro, president of SBG Technologies, meet the 2019 VALHEN Scholarship recipients, and catch up to speed on higher education in the Commonwealth with Deputy Secretary of Education Frances Bradford.

About 100 years before the British arrived in Jamestown in 1607, Spanish explorers discovered Virginia. Today, although Hispanics/Latinos in Virginia account for 9% of the total population, they make up 12% of K-12 students. Nationwide, with a median age of 28 versus 42 years for the general population, Hispanics/Latinos make up 23.7% of all high school students in the nation. These demographic realities make our 2019 Encuentro’s theme a very important one and relevant for all Virginians.

On March 14, the Encuentro will explore the efforts of our higher education community to increase the number of Latinx students at our institutions. This year’s Encuentro at George Mason University highlights “Recruitment to Graduation: Latinx at the University.” They will focus on how Virginia higher education institutions are recruiting, retaining, and graduating Latinx, while striving to create campus spaces and programming customized to Latinx’s particular needs and outlooks. They will also explore the multifaceted process of creating a Latinx campus culture and dive into a deeper discussion of why this is key to designing great Latinx college experiences that lead to improved retention and graduation rates.

Commander Carlos Del Toro, USN (ret.) is the founder, president, and CEO of SBG Technology Solutions, based in Alexandria. Commander Del Toro serves on the Small Business Council of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and heads the Council’s Small Business Procurement Advisory Group. He is a graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy, was selected as a White House Fellow, and received The Ellis Island Medal of Freedom.

In addition, they will present their 2019 Scholarship Recipients. There will be several individual scholarship awards totaling $18,000, courtesy of our CVC Campaign donors and the generosity of corporate and individual donors. These students are the future and exemplify the potential of Latinx youth in Virginia.

Join them and celebrate our scholarship students, see how the Commonwealth is making NOVA’s environment more welcoming for our Latinx students, and help them thank GMU for hosting the Encuentro. Meet Commander Carlos Del Toro – a wonderful example of a story of hard work and immigrant success, and network, network, network!

Tickets are $100 for professionals and $49 for young professionals. GMU faculty, staff, and students can attend for free. Parking is free. The ticket price includes morning cafecito, snacks and lunch. Come meet fantastic folks! For more details and to buy tickets go to:

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