NEIU To Host Latino College Expo, First in Midwest

Mary Maxine Arreguine-Casimiro, the person that helped to bring the Latino College Expo to NEIU.
Mary Maxine Arreguine-Casimiro, the person that helped to bring the Latino College Expo to NEIU.
Mary Maxine Arreguine-Casimiro

Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) will be partnering with the National College Resource Foundation (NCRF) to host the first Latino College Expo in the Midwest. The NCRF has been holding the Latino College Expo since 2010.

Mary Maxine Arreguine-Casimiro, Student Media Board’s Community Relations Director at NEIU, first contacted the NCRF in the fall of 2023. She presented the idea to NEIU’s administration around the same time. It is through her efforts that NEIU finally signed the contract for the event in early January of 2024.

“We have an opportunity to highlight NEIU,” Arreguine-Casimiro said in an interview with the Independent. NEIU is one of the Midwest’s long-standing four-year Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). She added that hosting the event was an opportunity for NEIU to hold tours with student organizations potentially tabling at or near the event space.

According to NCRF’s spokesperson, the September 2023 Latino College Expo was held at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona, CA. It had 9,000 registered attendees and distributed $1.2 million in scholarships. Arreguine-Casimiro said that it had been a full-day event on a much larger campus. NEIU’s event will be smaller, as the buildings on campus cannot accommodate that many people. University policy states the Alumni Hall in the Student Union Building has a capacity of approximately 420 people. The Physical Education Complex has a seating capacity of 2,200 people, according to

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“Latino College Expo will engage Latino and other students from 6th-12th grade with guidance and information for students to seek higher education,” said a spokesperson for the NCRF. “Additionally, there are opportunities for college students to access internships and careers from companies seeking to diversify their talent and introduce new and exciting careers to our future leaders. Students get information and resources on scholarships/grants and internship/career programs.”

“Students might be recruited to other spaces,” Arreguine-Casimiro said, acknowledging that not all potential students will be drawn to NEIU, as there will be other colleges and other Hispanic-Serving Institutions at the expo. “If we’re really serving the students and we’re serving our community the ultimate goal is getting children into higher education.”

The NCRF says on its website, “Our mission is to curtail the high school dropout rate and increase degree and/or certificate enrollment among underserved, underrepresented, at risk, low resource, homeless and foster students. Our vision is to close the gap in educational achievement, workforce, and economic disparities with the goal to end racism and racial inequality.”

The NCRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. It was founded in 1999 in response to California passing Proposition 209, which banned affirmative action policies in the state.

In addition to the Latino College Expo, the NCRF hosts a STEAM Expo and its flagship event, the Black College Expo tour which travels to multiple cities throughout the year. 

NCRF advertises these expos as giving students the opportunity to be accepted to colleges, receive scholarships on the spot, and have their college application fees waived. The expos also offer seminars and workshops, as well as information regarding jobs, careers, and internships.

 “It is fitting that NEIU, the longest-standing Hispanic-Serving Institution in the Midwest, will be hosting the first-ever Latino College Expo in the Midwest,” Dr. Shireen Roshanravan, NEIU’s Executive Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, told the Independent in a statement, “As the host institution, NEIU will be increasing access to college, scholarship, internship and career opportunities for Latinx communities and other communities traditionally underrepresented and underserved in higher education.”

As the planning for the Latino College Expo continues, the Independent will bring further updates on what the NEIU community can expect from the event.

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  • L

    Leticia SalazarJan 24, 2024 at 1:24 pm

    This is my beautiful amazing successful self made latina my niece has come along way , Her passion to help the youth and our gente is immense

    You keep reaching Mary your on your way up mija

  • S

    StephenJan 23, 2024 at 4:18 pm

    That’s wonderful. But did you hear about the rumors going around campus among faculty after a series of shocking emails?

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