Latino Heritage Museum Informs and Inspires Rockville Campus

The Montgomery College Rockville campus hosted the Latino Heritage Museum on Monday, Sept. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event took place in the Theatre Arts building where Montgomery College staff made the venue look and feel like a real museum setting. The Museum, which was presented by James Inc. and sponsored by the Office of Student Life, attempted to inspire and motivate not only Latino students, but students of different cultures to dream big and work towards their goals. Upon walking into the venue, a sign with information about the museum read, “The Latino Heritage Museum is an inspirational tribute to Latinos, Hispanic scientists, inventors, and pioneers, in the fields of science, aerospace, communications, medicine, business, sports, politics, and arts/entertainment.”

The goal to motivate and inspire people was an ongoing theme at the event. Displayed were numerous biographies of educated and prosperous Latinos as well their authentic historical artifacts, pictures, and memorabilia safeguarded in glass cases. Displaying images and quotes from successful Latinos, both past and present, was aimed at showing students that they can achieve their goals with preparation, fortitude, and optimism. Some of the showcased individuals included:

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<li>Antonia Coello Novello, a woman of Puerto Rican descent and first female Surgeon General.</li>

<li>Franklin Chang Diaz, the first Latin American to go into space.</li>

<li>Jackie Nespral, a woman of Cuban parentage who was the first Hispanic to anchor a network news program (NBC News Weekend – Today Show).</li>

<li>Roberto Clemente, a Puerto Rican-born baseball legend and humanitarian, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, and won 12 gold glove awards and became a hall of famer.</li>

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These were just some of the accomplished Latinos showcased at the museum. Countless others in the fields of entertainment, politics, and cinema were also shown to introduce their success stories as well. “As a student, I can enjoy learning about various cultures. The Latino Heritage Museum was very informative,” said Keith Perkins. Not only did the Museum aim to inspire, but also to inform students and staff about important figures who have contributed to different fields throughout history. The Museum’s mission is to “develop pride, promote racial understanding, and provide a new motivation of learning.”

Also in honor of Latin Heritage Month, The Montgomery College World Arts Festival and The Gathering invite you to Salsa on Thursday, Sept. 27  from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Theatre Arts building on the Rockville campus. Hosting Latin-style Salsa dance music and featuring the Latin Band Sin Miedo, this event will help you to brush up on your Salsa dancing skills and also enjoy Latin music while celebrating Latin Heritage month. The event does require a donation of $8 to support music scholarships, however, dance lessons with Cecilia Villalobos will be available, as well as food, music, and more. Hispanic heritage month takes place from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

Photos by Sonia Matos.