HAYS – Diego Esparza said he learned a lot while helping plan the Hispanic College Institute in 2019, when he worked for Fort Hays State University’s Enrollment Management as a graduate student.
He is putting that knowledge to good use this year as co-chair of the HCI Steering Committee, which is comprised of a diverse group of individuals from across the Student Affairs division. HCI is a residential program that prepares high school students to enter and succeed in higher education.
Like other summer event planners at FHSU, the HCI staff is excited about students returning to campus this summer after all youth activities were canceled a year ago because of the pandemic.
“We are just so glad to be able to host the HCI again,” said Esparza, assistant director of student engagement. “We are looking forward to having students back on campus this year.”
The free event – traditionally held in June for three nights and four days – this year was moved to a weekend later in the summer. It is scheduled for Friday through Sunday, July 23-25.
Counselors, or HCI leads, will report for training on Thursday, with HCI participants scheduled for arrival Friday afternoon. To apply or to learn more about HCI, visit fhsu.edu/hci.
Students will learn about foundations for success in college, beginning with how to fill out applications for college in general as well as for financial aid. They will hear from FHSU alumni, telling about the impact that the Fort Hays State education experience has had on their lives. And they will make new friends.
The HCI gives students a taste of college life while introducing them to the Fort Hays State campus.
Who better to promote FHSU than Esparza, who has either attended school or worked at three regional universities. Esparza gained a wealth of knowledge from his different experiences, which he was eager to bring back to the Fort.
“It was great to come back to Fort Hays State,” Esparza said. “I love the environment here. We genuinely care about the students and have so much support for them to be successful.”