Researcher Works to Prevent Hispanic Kids from Dropping Out of School

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Diversity education expert, Dr. Karina Reyes, a Chicago-based clinical and community psychologist, academic opportunity motivational speaker, and author joins Latino Speakers Bureau and other education advocates in fighting the Latino drop-out rate.

Latino Speakers Bureau announced today that Dr. Karina Reyes, a Chicago-based clinical and community psychologist, diversity education expert, academic opportunity motivational keynote speaker, and author has joined its keynote speakers' lineup at With fellow education advocates at the bureau, her keynotes offer insights and strategies for helping Hispanic youth through key transitions and improving education initiatives.

Dr. Reyes is an Associate Professor of psychology in the Clinical and Community and Prevention Research programs of the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She teaches undergraduate students and trains future psychologists in the graduate program.

A recognized professional in her field of work, Dr. Reyes focuses on the prevention of high-risk behaviors and the promotion of Latino academic achievement and successful high school completion in urban minority, low-income communities where educational resources limit opportunity and contribute to the poor outcomes of many of these youth.

Dr. Reyes’ work includes a search for those factors that promote youths’ resilience and those that protect them against the significant risks in their lives and communities. She has examined factors that heighten youths' vulnerability for maladjustment during normative school transitions; the role of peer, family and school support in academic success; youngsters' attitudes and perceptions about school; and their involvement in high-risk behaviors like gang involvement, substance abuse, and premature sexual behavior. Her research also examines the role of environmental factors in school outcomes, such as school and neighborhood violence, demographic variables, and school administrative structures and policies.

Dr. Reyes’ work has been published in multiple professional psychological journals, and other related focus in her work is on enhancing understanding about diversity and its value in different settings and importantly, how to achieve it. An award-winning teacher at the most racially and ethnically diverse public university in the United States, Dr. Reyes has applied her knowledge and expertise with the student population of UIC, including faculty and administrators. She believes engaging education stakeholders expands the reach of diversity efforts and her lecture discusses common barriers to diversity in educational or work arenas and strategies that work.

Her keynote programs include:

  • Education Insights for Leaders: Promoting High School Completion Among Minority Youth
  • Building Your Child’s Self-Esteem
  • Good Parenting: What Is It and What Does It Get You?
  • Rethinking High School Dropout: Who’s Really to Blame?
  • Urban School Secrets for Promoting Effective Learning
  • The Educator as Leader: Guiding Students Toward Academic Success
  • What Makes Students Tick: Urban Classroom Lessons for Turning around the High School    
  • Dropout Rate

Information on Dr. Karina Reyes can be found at where she joins other education advocates such as Chicano artist Simon Silva, award-winning actor-director Tony Plana, success expert and career coach Pegine Echevarria, and New York's talented art educator, inspirational speaker, Magdalena Gomez.

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