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“I wanted to get across to the teachers here that knowing themselves and recognizing their own identity, their restraints and their abilities, to be able to recognize traditions, benefits and beliefs within their own culture,” said Lucille Dominguez, a Lecturer in the College of Education at UTEP speaking at the 5th Annual ABC Conference here.

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Located in the southeastern corner of California in the border town of Calexico, Calexico High School draws students from its sister city, Mexicali, among other places. Students who need extra help with the language go to particular courses depending on their skill level.

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“Because their families are not wanting them to take that step of independence,” Shavers said. She explained that women of the border face special issues that people elsewhere wouldn’t such as health issues and mainly trying to find their identity as Mexican-Americans. “While their traditions are Mexican and they have a lot of language and culture, ethnic foods, and music and things, they are really more American than they are Mexican because their expectations, their rights as women are based heavily on what they live in the United States,” she said. Shavers said young women of Hispanic descent aren’t driven to succeed. They don’t get as much encouragement from their families to go off to college and become successful.

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The high-tech gear at Herman Seufert’s fifth grade class classroom is not just for show. Students use the computers to post blogs, create their own photo slideshows, and even talk to classes in East Texas. The blogs range from a private journal of thoughts to homework assignments. Everything the students do is eventually posted on a wiki page so that the world can see it.

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Hanksmedia.com is the first fully-operational online high school newspaper in the El Paso area. It is the digital version of the student magazine Scriptoria and like all online publications it is updated daily.

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