Polk State’s Hispanic Heritage Month Events Begin Sept. 18

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration kicks off Sept. 18, and will include a busy slate of cross-campus events, from a volleyball game in Winter Haven to a fiesta in Lakeland.

Hispanic Heritage Month is one of several initiatives at the College to spotlight various areas of diversity within the community it serves. Other initiatives include Black History Month, Women’s History Month and Disability Awareness Month.

“At Polk State, we are committed to celebrating the cultural diversity found within our student body, which is a reflection of the diversity found within Polk County as a whole,” said Director of Equity and Diversity Valparisa Baker.

“It is important that we learn about — and from — one another, that we recognize our differences and come to appreciate them. That’s what these events achieve each month.”

Polk State’s Hispanic enrollment continues to grow, with more than 2,700 students enrolled in 2012-13, up 11.1 percent from the previous year. Hispanic students account for 16.1 percent of the College’s total credit head count. The growth in Polk State’s Hispanic enrollment mirrors the countywide trend. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Polk County’s Hispanic population more than doubled between 2000 and 2012; Hispanics now account for 18.6 percent of the county’s population.

The Hispanic Heritage Month calendar includes:

Sept. 18, 11:30 a.m.
Hispanic Heritage Month Kick-Off
Free food, music and entertainment
Polk State Winter Haven, WLR Loggia

Café Con Leche Dialogue: Argentina
Sept. 25, 3 p.m.
Polk State Lakeland, LLC 2205

National Hispanic Heritage Night
Sept. 26
Polk State Winter Haven Health Center
Meet Polk State’s volleyball players at 6 p.m., game starts at 7 p.m.
Free pizza

HHM Movie Night, featuring Una Noche
Oct. 2, 3:30 p.m.
Polk State Lakeland, LLC 2188 (auditorium)

Interactive Webcast
Oct. 10, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Polk State Lakeland, LLC 2188 (auditorium)
Polk State District Board of Trustees member Teresa Martinez will present this interactive webcast discussion to motivate, inspire and encourage students. In addition, it will highlight the diversity of the Hispanic culture. Topics will include cultural challenges and education, success stories, giving back to the community and much more.

HHM Scholarship Fiesta
Oct. 14, 11:30 a.m.
Polk State Lakeland Student Center, Dining Hall
Free food, entertainment, scholarship presentation
RSVP to Nixsa Del Valle, 863.292.3603 or ndelvalle@polk.edu, include “HHM Scholarship” in subject line
Students must meet certain criteria for scholarships and submit an application.
HHM Scholarship Application
HHM Scholarship Criteria

All events are free and open to the public. Events are presented by the College’s Office of Equity and Diversity in partnership with groups including the International Circle, Lakeland Film Society, Phi Theta Kappa, Polk State Foundation, SPANCOM, Student Government Association, and the Polk State women’s volleyball team.

State Farm is the community sponsor for the events.

In addition to Hispanic Heritage Month events at its campuses, the College is a sponsor of Club Hispano de Lakeland’s Hispanic Festival, planned for Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lake Mirror Promenade and Barnett Park in downtown Lakeland. For more information on the festival, call Club Hispano de Lakeland at 863.644.5362 or visit clubhispanodelakeland.com.