AUSTIN (KXAN) - The holidays are a time of homecoming for most college students, but in the Hispanic culture, many teenagers find it difficult to leave home to pursue higher education in the United States.
In the United States, only 19 percent of Latinos have a college degree. For yeras here in Austin, a group Con Mi Madre has been working with young women and their mothers, showing them what the future can be by mentoring them, arranging campus visits and hosting career fairs. Their work is paying off.
Psychology major Jasmin Vara is attending Middlebury College in Vermont. It was an adjustment.
"It's getting easier with time," Vara, who just returned home for the holidays, admitted. "My freshman year was very difficult to be away from home. I'd never left home for that long a time without my parents. But it's becoming easier and easier. I'm learning a lot about myself."
Still, it can be hard, even knowing she's away for a good reason.
"Like when I talk to my parents, and they say, 'Oh, we just had a party and we saw your grandma,'" Vara said. "It's a little sad, but I know I'll be back home soon."
It can be tough for her family, too. Jasmin's mother admits her faily was raised to be together. Her father said it's tough, but it's important to key an eye on Jasmin's future. As Jasmin nears graduation, her dad is proud.
"Being a Hispanic family, our culture is not used to be stuff like your kids being away from home, but when you want the best for them, that's what you want them to do, follow your dreams," Jose Vara said.
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