Nuevos Horizontes in Melrose Park celebrates 30 years of student success

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By Shawn Gilley

Contributor

On Aug. 18, 1981, Nuevos Horizontes opened its doors for the first time to address the needs of the Hispanic community in Triton's district. This year, during the month of August, a series of events are being planned to celebrate the center's 30 years of service and the successes of its students.

The 30th Anniversary Organizing Committee is planning a memorable celebration. The big event will include a street festival from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at Nuevos Horizontes, 1708 Main St., Melrose Park, with a recognition ceremony from 12:45 to 2:45 p.m. the same day, with refreshments beginning at noon.

Early in 1980, Triton College established an Advisory Board for Hispanic Affairs to develop programs and services to serve the growing Hispanic population in the area. Composed of leaders representing the college, local churches, in-district high schools, social service agencies, students and residents, the Advisory Board created a Hispanic Skills Center offering Triton programs and services in a renovated bank building on Broadway and Main Street in Melrose Park. It received a new identity in a July 1981 naming contest when Blanca Garcia submitted "Nuevos Horizontes" as the winning entry.

Nuevos Horizontes celebrated its official grand opening on Aug. 22, 1981. Over the next twenty years, the center moved to two different locations within Melrose Park and settled into its current home on Main Street in 2001. Fully-equipped with multimedia and computer classrooms, the center now serves more than 15,000 people each year in its GED, citizenship, and English as a Second Language programs, and continuing education courses ranging from job search strategies to Latin dance. Nuevos Horizontes has had only five directors to date, one of the first being Dr. Patricia Granados who is now the President of Triton College.

For more information, call (708) 649-2101 or visit www.triton.edu.

Former Nuevos students are encouraged to call the Alumni Relations Office to share their experiences at the school. The Alumni Relations Office can be reached at (708) 456-0300, extension 3674.

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