NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - James Montoya became NISD's social worker in 2000. At the time, there were about 5,000 Hispanics in town. Today, in NISD alone the demographic is much higher.
"Our population is 43.70% Hispanics in the district. It's almost 50% and it's increasing every day.
"Social worker Wilma Cordova is disturbed about another statistic. "48% of Latino males tend to drop out from high school," said Cordova.
Together the two social workers are wanting change.
"At risk population of Hispanic students is 55%. That's high. We're not educating Hispanic students. Our students need to get a better education where they can become professionals rather than just technical or career," said Montoya.
"I want to see more of those Latinos not dropping out of high school but in college. I want to see them voting. Those young people that can vote now need to come aware of the issues and begin to advocate collectively again," said Cordova.
It's the kind of issues for Latinos Unidos. The new organization's goal is establish and identify Hispanic leaders. "And ask them to serve as the liaison between the Hispanic community and legislature, or perhaps, even run for offices themselves," said Cordova.
"There are a lot of kids that are going to schools here in nisd that are graduating and staying here in Nacogdoches. Those are our future leaders," said Montoya.
As Hispanic businesses become a vital part of the local economy change will occur in all the areas. Change is a process which is beginning now.