Business & Finance

West Orange Holds Bilingual Seminar on College Enrollment and Financial Aid

Victor Reynaga
left to right: Laura L. Lab, Councilman Victor Cirilo, Ana Marti

WEST ORANGE, NJ - On Saturday, March 12, the West Orange Board of Education, Township of West Orange, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Essex County College, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), the Hispanic College Fund, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund sponsored a bilingual seminar aimed at Hispanic families entitled, College Enrollment, Financial Support, and How to Obtain Professional Experience at the West Orange Public Library.

By 2050, 34% of U.S. Latinos will be U.S.-born with at least one immigrant parent, according to Pew Research Center as reported in Smithsonian magazine’s July/August 2010 issue.

“I do 20 information sessions at NJIT per year on Saturdays,” said Mr. Carlomagno Ontaneda, Assistant Director, Recruitment at NJIT, “but I got no one from West Orange.”  As a result, he decided to participate in the information session in West Orange.  Ontaneda said of this seminar, “if I get even one student to go to college, I have already achieved.”

Sign Up for E-News

“Mr. Ontaneda wanted to speak to ESL students at West Orange High School”, said Ana Marti, Supervisor, ESL & World Languages Gr.6-12, of the West Orange Public Schools. According to Marti, Hispanic students comprise 23% of the district, and there are 300 ESL students in the district.  In February, Mr. Ontaneda spoke to the parents of all students as part of the high school’s Spanish Night.   “He makes himself available,” she said. Marti spoke to Saturday’s audience in Spanish.  “There are means to go to university; the help is there but you have to look for it and ask questions.  The most powerful words are, ‘I need help.’ An obstacle is an inability to pay, and without papers you pay the highest prices.”

“Students should be going to college, but are not pushed to AP courses, and are intimidated by college forms.  Parents are not familiar with the process, it is daunting to them, and there is confusion.” said Laura L. Lab, Vice President of the Board of Education of the West Orange Public Schools.  Lab said, “Immigration is not a concern of the school district.  To the district, legality is immaterial but breeds fear.”

“Today’s goal is to talk to parents about the college process to promote parental involvement and what kids can expect as they move through the West Orange school system; to present a glimpse of the college experience and beyond,” said Councilman Victor Cirilo.   According to Councilman Cirilo, the Hispanic population in West Orange has grown since the 2000 census.

According to Lesley Chung, Guidance Counselor at West Orange High School who was also at the gathering, the school provides regular workshops for parents. “We can help you in senior year to be on track with college applications.”

“I am here to talk to parents and kids about college and its benefits and to share my experiences,” said Victor Reynaga, who was born in Peru and graduated from West Orange High School.  He is a Junior at NJIT interested in Civil Engineering.  He said his interest began as a small child in Peru where his mother worked at the airport, and he would go there and see the workers in their suits and helmets.  He said, “I want to make my family proud, and someday show my kids a building I’ve worked on.” 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Lola's Buy 1 Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off With Coupon

May 26, 2018

FAIRFIELD, NJ - Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is offering Buy One Regular Soft Serve Cone or Cup, Get One 50% Off with coupon. Lola's Sprinkles are always FREE! 

The coupon expires on June 18, 2018, and coupon offers cannot be combined. All guests must present this coupon to redeem.

Lola's Ice Cream and Sweet Shoppe is located at 244 Route 46 East ...

Free Flavors Soft Serve Ice Cream (Jr. Cup or Cone) With Coupon

Fairfield, NJ - Flavors Homemade Ice Cream is offering a FREE soft serve ice cream (jr. cup or cone) when you spend $10 or more with coupon.

Flavors Homemade Is located at 653 Rt 46 West (1.98 mi) in Fairfield, New Jersey 07004 next to Jose Tejas.

*Homemade Ice Cream

*Italian Ice


*Fresh waffles 

*ice ...

Philip Roth's Childhood Home Still Stands in Newark

May 26, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The house at 81 Summit Avenue in Newark's Weequahic neighborhood is otherwise unremarkable expect for a sign attached to its faux flagstone facade noting that the home has been designated a historic site—the childhood home of celebrated author Philip Roth, who died Tuesday at the age of 85.

There were no crowds outside the home to pay homage to ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, May 28, 10:00 AM

Township Hall, West Orange

2018 Memorial Day Observance

Community Calendar


Mon, May 28, 8:00 PM

West Orange High School, West Orange

Board of Education Meeting

Community Calendar Education


Tue, May 29

Essex County

Primary – Vote by Mail deadline

Clarifying Points Made in Article About WOHS Air Quality Issues

May 14, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I am the advisor to West Orange High School's student newspaper, The Pioneer. My Editor-in-Chief, Anna Favetta, is the student who researched the topic and wrote the article bringing this issue to light. She worked on the article for 4 months before she had adequate and proper information for it to go to print. 

An article on the BOE presentation of the ...

What It Means to Me - A Baseball Story

We are all in amazement of the dedication and talent of our young West Orange athletes. One of the goals of our youth sports programs is to develop our players so they are ready for high school and are prepared for success at that next level of play. Throughout the course of the year we will be featuring some of our talented young athletes and coaches. This week we have the perspective of ...

West Orange On Three!

The spring season is in full swing, and we are excited to debut this new column focusing on all things youth sports!  We thought we would kick things off with an overview of the programs West Orange has to offer, and then go behind the scenes to see what makes youth sports tick.

West Orange Police Athletic League (PAL) and Mountain Top League (MTL), together with the West Orange ...

Summer 2018 Events at the West Orange Public Library

May 15, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Beginning in June, the West Orange Public Library will offer the following events for area residents of all ages:

Dinosaurs’ Rock!                                             

Monday, June 11, 4:00 p.m.

Field Station Dinosaur visits with the ...

10-Year-Old Cancer Patient Receives Donation from Randolph Hockey Family

May 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ — While the inter-town hockey battles on the ice between Randolph and Roxbury are fierce at every age level, when it comes to real-life battles off the ice, there is no hesitation to offer help to their neighbor.

Such is the case with a recent gesture of unity and support from the members of the Randolph varsity hockey team, when they came together to ...

A Royal Pain

I went to a big wedding over the weekend.  It was in England.

I like to think I was invited, but according to the Royal Guards and the Thames Valley Police I was not.  But more about that later.

You see, not too long ago I received an evite addressed to me from H&  Curiously, it was in my spam folder with a warning message. For an evite it was pretty ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...