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Hispanic Education Conference aims to inspire
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 The goal of the 29th Annual Hispanic Education Conference is to inspire and motivate local students to pursue their educational or career goals.

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Auditorium of the Performing and Media Arts Center on the Modesto Junior College's East Campus, located at 435 College Ave. in Modesto.  The theme for this year’s conference is “Inspired by Knowledge” and the keynote will be a special presentation of the production of "Tomás and the Library Lady."  Also presenting will be the playwright of the show, José Cruz González.  Registration for the conference is free and open on a first come basis with limited seating.

 The Hispanic Education Conference check-ins begin at 8 a.m. and the morning program will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Auditorium.  Community role-models will facilitate workshops on Law Enforcement, Nursing, Business, Computer Science/Graphics, Social Work, Engineering and a variety of other special topics.

The main goals of the conference are to encourage local high school and college students to choose a career path, focus on a goal and enlighten them about the multitude of career choices available.  The conference also offers participants an opportunity to see various role models from diverse occupational areas. 

"Tomás and the Library Lady" tells the true story of a son of a migrant farm worker during the 1940s. Feeling a little out of place since his family’s move to Iowa from Texas and wanting to know more than just his grandfather’s stories, Tomás develops a love for books and knowledge that he always wanted to have, inspiring a life-long love of learning that culminated in his becoming a chancellor at a university.  This play is produced in collaboration with Modesto Junior College Theatre Department in partnership with the Gallo Center for the Arts.

González has written for PAZ, the Emmy Award nominated television series produced by Discovery Kids for The Learning Channel.  He teaches theatre at California State University at Los Angeles. 

Complimentary morning refreshments and lunch will be provided for all participants.  The conference is free.  A registration form is available online or by emailing For additional information call Claudia Ramirez at 575-6698.