Niños Californianos: A New Face For California Youth

Last week, early census numbers revealed that more than half of the children in California are Latino.  The country’s most populous state is the first to follow the forecasts of Hispanics overtaking whites as the largest minority.  If you’d like to read a little more about this new statistic, check it out here.

This confirms that Hispanics are indeed the face of California’s future (as if we didn’t already know).  A state like California, rich in culture, and the once main destination for many Americans, is yet again in a state of flux.  Only this time, it is facing a different challenge.  Regardless of what the numbers say, this reality is a tough one for many people to swallow.  California is the setting for a bulk of Hispanic history in America, so this news seems very fitting, especially for the time.  And considering the state’s political landscape, changes like these are more welcomed than they are in other regions of the country.  But California will not be the only state where Hispanics take the lead for long.  So any local or state initiatives that affect Hispanics will serve as a model for other states soon to follow the trend.

The most important initiative must be education.  With most children in Cali now being Latino, efforts to revitalize and sustain quality education, maintain schools, and recruit and retain well-qualified teachers can no longer be segmented.  When you live in a state where most of your children are Hispanic, and when Hispanics are more likely to drop out of school than any other group, reaching them is not an option and should not be taken lightly.

In our work with the local Hispanic high schools, we have met so many promising students with the will and the wit to not only get into college, but excel in college.  Young Hispanics in America stand out.  Many times their focus is on the wrong thing, but under no circumstances does this mean they’re not smart.  They’re born with a common sense many adults don’t even possess, and whether it’s through their own experiences, or witnessing their parents’ drive, they understand hard work.  If California is going to continue serving as a pillar of this nation, the state’s leaders much begin connecting with its children now.  And although education needs to remain the focus, merely getting to know them, and learning to understand how they think must be achieved as well.  And it needs to happen now.  I read a distasteful article the other day published by Tulsa World titled “Hispanic Population Growing; we must deal with it.”  Granted, even though the home of many Indian reservations, Oklahoma isn’t exactly considered famous for its embracement of diversity.  But this article was published less than a month ago, and proves that if the kids in California are already mostly Hispanic, then the rest of the country still has quite a ways to go.

I’ll close with this.  Considering demographers, researchers and…well, Latinos have been saying that this Hispanic increase was going to happen sooner or later for years now, it shouldn’t come as that much of a shock.  One finding in particular, however, also deserves a few moments under the spotlight.  According to the National Council of La Raza, more than nine out of 10 Latinos under age 18 are U.S. citizens, and the median age of Hispanics is just 27.  There is an emerging culture and people here whose voice has surfaced and will only continue to grow louder – and it’s not quite Hispanic, but not totally your typical American either.  No longer avoid this group, and dive deep into their mindset now.  It’ll keep you ahead of the game.

1 comment

1 PP LOPEZ { 06.20.11 at 11:35 pm }

HI!!
THIS ARTICLE WAS VERY INTERESTING, BECAUSE WE CAN KNOW HOW THE GOVERMENT ARE TAKING CARE TO ALL THE STUDENTS THAT ARE LATINOS. SO WE CAN BE SURE THAT THOSE CHILDRENS ARE NOT FACING THE WORLD ALONE.

CONGRATULATIONS!!

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