After Decades, A University By And For Latinos Will Shut Its Doors : Code Switch : NPR: The National Hispanic University was created more than 30 years ago to educate first-generation college students from Latino backgrounds. Next year, the only school of its kind west of the Mississippi will close its doors.
NHU sits in the shadow of the East San Jose foothills in California's Silicon Valley. All the classrooms and faculty offices fit in one modern three-story building in the heart of a working-class Latino neighborhood. But the postwar elementary school right next door used to serve as the institution's hallowed halls.
"I came with my mom and we walked into an elementary school cafeteria, literally: the benches, the tables, everything," says Michelle Pelayo Osorio, about her first visit to NHU 15 years ago. "My mom said, 'This is where you want to come to school?' And I said, 'Let's give it a chance; let's see what it's all about.' "