The Hispanic Pre-College Project, a University of St. Thomas outreach program founded in 1990 to improve the quality of education for Hispanic youth and their families, will hold an open house from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, in the junior high section of Humboldt Secondary Complex, 30 E. Baker.

Visitors are welcome to attend classroom sessions of the project’s three after-school programs: Academia del Pueblo, Project Success and the Padrinos Mentoring Program.

The programs are designed to enhance the education and personal development of about 100 elementary, junior and senior high school students. An additional 200 parents and preschoolers participate in the HPCP programs.

The programs are affiliates of the National Council of La Raza and in recent years have won several state and national academic and cultural awards.

As its name implies, the goal of the Hispanic Pre-College Project is to help Hispanic students prepare for education beyond high school. Research by St. Thomas in the 1980s showed that a solid preparation for college begins in the elementary school years. In addition to academic enrichment activities, the programs provide cultural reinforcement, help build self-esteem and self-confidence, and help students develop a positive attitude toward school.

The Hispanic Pre-College Project recently has applied to the state to open a charter school. It is proposed that Academia Cesar Chavez would open on the West Side in 2001 and enroll 250 students in grades k-5.

For further information, call the Hispanic Pre-College Project at (651) 962-6340.