One in five Hispanic teens drops out of high school, according to U.S. Education Department statistics. That's about twice the rate for black students and more than three times the rate among white students.
. "A lot of Latino students look at the sticker price and think, if my family makes $18-20,000 a year, I can't afford it," said Deborah Santiago, vice president of policy and research for Excelencia in Education, a Washington-based advocacy organization.
He told Wheaton students about a guidance counselor who encouraged him to go to college, and about his time at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, where he became disillusioned, started partying and stopped studying. "I went from being the first in my family to go to college to becoming another Latino statistic: a dropout," he said.
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