NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Hispanic community came together for an educational fair on Tuesday at the Midland Park Community Center in North Charleston.
There were opportunities to learn about schools and the road to higher education and the business world.
Military Magnet Academy senior Liliana Garcia was at the event. She's about to make a big accomplishment in her family.
"I'm the first one to graduate and go to school and finish my high school and middle school and elementary," Garcia said.
She's counting down the days until graduation and prepping for college. That's why she came out to the educational fair.The process has been challenging because she was born in Mexico.
"It's really difficult, some stuff that I don't know how to answer and then I have to get extra help from other people that already did the applications," Garcia said.
Progreso y ComUnidad Tri County, meaning progress and community is a group of Hispanic and non-Hispanic leaders from different organizations around the area whose purpose is to help the Hispanic community on education and business. It's the first collective fair of it's kind for the group.
Claudia Newbern is an assistant administrator at RB Stall High School.
"Many of our families come from Central America the Caribbean and they are not very familiar with what the school system looks like, so it's a little bit of a shock for the parents and the kids," Newbern said.
The event used skits to covey the road to college and the business world. The plays were written and directed by Maribel Acosta from Art Pot.
Edwin Moure Negron is President of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. He knows what guidance can do.
"When I went to school I didn't have this type of information I could have finished my college earlier and now I have the opportunity through STEM to motivate and inspire students to go to school and study something related in science, technology, engineering and math," Moure Negron said.
The group says parents and students will receive information about school expectations in the Tri County and can make connections that can help them in the future. Multiple school college and business representatives were present.
"We just want to make sure that they know that there are opportunities and that they are welcome here," Newbern said.
Garcia is looking forward to what the future holds. She would like to attend Trident Technical College to study nursing and she is considering joining the military.
"I want to graduate from college, get my parents to a better place instead of where we live in," Garcia said. "I want a better place for my family and to do better."
The high school assistant administrator says one the biggest barriers for these families is the language. Many of the parents don't speak English.
Through events like this they will continue to connect them to opportunities in the community.