More Hispanics Enrolling At CWU

<p>Alicia Brito &amp; Cynthia Moreno</p>

Alicia Brito &amp; Cynthia Moreno

Alicia Brito and Cynthia Moreno share a lot in common, they are both of hispanic descent, and graduated high school from Yakima Valley schools-- Brito from Grandview, and Moreno from Davis High School.

And both are part of a rising demographic at Central Washington University.

"It's nice to know that I have people that are from my school here," said Brito, "I actually recognize some faces and I actually say hi to them."

According to Central, the school has seen a 170% increase in Hispanic enrollment over the past five years.

In fact, it enrolls the most Hispanic students ratio-wise in the state.

The University of Washington currently has about 6.5% Hispanic enrollment, Washington State University has just over 8%, while Central tops the list with over 13%, or about one in every ten students.

The school also offers C.A.M.P., which stands for College Assistance Migrant Program; it offers financial help to hispanics whose parents work in the agricultural industry.

Administrators say that's played a factor in attracting these students to the school, especially those in our region.

Administrators say the close proximity of the school also plays a factor for many Hispanics who are close to their families.

"Latinos kind of operate in that close family structure, multi-generational, often-times living in the same household," said C.A.M.P. Director Miriam Bocchetti, "For our students, it's very important for them to feel like their parents know where their at, and can count on them, rely on them to come back home if they need them."

Cynthia Moreno says she hopes the trend continues to rise.

"I would like to see more Latinos attend a university, whether it's Central, UW, just to pursue their higher education," said Moreno.

Of the 1,400 students graduating from central this weekend, 235 of those students are hispanic.