Latino Club helps students apply to private high schools

Su Jin Nam

The Latino Club is collaborating with an organization called Hype to connect with aspiring middle school students and get underexposed but high-achieving public school students into private high schools. Mentors employed by Hype help students with standardized test prep and applications before acceptance. After enrollment, the mentor accompanies the student’s parents to dean meetings and continues to meet with the student. Even if the student is not accepted to a private school, Hype does not drop the student, but continues to support them at whatever school her or she attends.

“It’s like a mentorship,” Alberto Rivera ’14 said. “They stay with you from the high school application process, through the college application process.”

Rivera, the Latino Club’s treasurer, is one of the first students to have been fostered by Hype. The organization helped him as he applied to Harvard-Westlake and continues to mentor him through his college application process. Because he is one of the first, he and Hype are unsure whether the mentorship will continue.

The public school students will be paired with a Harvard-Westlake volunteer and communicate via Skype every Wednesday night.

Later in the year, the club plans to bring the students and their parents on campus to see and experience Harvard-Westlake.

“These families don’t really know anything outside of their immediate community,” Rivera said. “We’re providing an opportunity for them to expand their horizon.”