Butler students form unique outreach to Hispanic high schoolers

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INDIANAPOLIS – A class of Butler students formed a unique bond with English as a second language (ESL) students in an Indianapolis high school that they hope will grow into a thriving community group.

The students are enrolled in a Spanish class at Butler taught by Bobbi Klein. Klein wanted the class to reach outside their own studies, leading them to Manual Emmerich High School and its ESL classes.

“I think this is a great opportunity for both of us,” student Mike Park said.

Park and his fellow classmates are spending time in the ESL classes, communicating with high schoolers in both Spanish and English. Some of the students arrived in the U.S. just months ago.

“I’d say something in Spanish and he’d answer in English, so in that way we’re both being helped out,” Park said.

The idea has grown into a student group, called S.A.L.S.A., or Students Actively Leading Spanish Awareness. In addition to helping in the classroom, the students are working to raise money for a scholarship fund targeted towards Hispanic high school students in Indianapolis.

“I’ve talked with various Hispanic community leaders and there’s absolutely nothing right now for Indianapolis that reaches directly to high school students,” Klein said.

Jose Nieto, a senior at Manual, said he plans to go to college and a scholarship would be extremely helpful to his future goals.

“It’s marvelously wonderful of them, taking their time to actually help,” Nieto said of the Butler students.

The students have planned a Butler’s Got Talent show for April. Funds raised will go to the scholarship. They’re hoping the idea to partner with high school students and help out the Hispanic community will catch on.

More information on the talent show is at the group’s Facebook page.