After a long time of preparation, just in time to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the first-ever bilingual Latinx talk show, Ready, Set, Ascender!”  aired on ACCTV. The purpose of this new initiative is to inform the community about resources that Austin Community College offers and share experiences, performances, and discussions of current events and relevant news of the Ascender familia. This new bilingual talk show will hopefully inspire and entertain the community, and inform them about the program that is available for students city-wide.

Alejandra Polcik, Manager of Hispanic Outreach Projects, and Megan Diaz, Ascender Outreach Specialist, are the hosts of the show, and are currently filming everything virtually, while staying safe at home. The first pilot episode briefly talks about what Hispanic Heritage Month stands for and how ACC organizations have adapted to the new environment by hosting different celebrations, such as informative online DACA sessions, to continue to increase inclusivity and diversity within the college. To tie the show together, they open the platform to students, faculty, and staff, by allowing them to share their experiences to continue to motivate and inspire the community.

The Ascender team at ACC shared student success stories from two 2019-2020 Ascender students. Jennifer Rodriguez, an Ascender student in her second-year at ACC, shared her personal experience as a Danza Azteca or “Matachines,” and the meaning behind this performance, which she got involved in because of her culture and religion. Jennifer also explained that ACC has fostered a sense of support, “ACC is there to support you and help you out through difficult times. ‘It doesn’t matter if you don’t know English, someone is there to help you, you are not alone,” she commented.  Isaiah Castillo, a second-year Ascender student, and his Ascender mentor, Jorge López-McKnight, shared how Ascender has made them feel more connected to the campus, since both were new to ACC at that time. Isaiah also went into detail how mental health is important to be discussed, especially in the Latinx world, “One thing I do like to talk about is mental health, the Hispanic culture I grew up in, [mental health] was very difficult to talk about. In Hispanic culture, they don’t like talking about mental illnesses, because it’s very taboo,” he said. Isaiah went on to explain that having his Ascender mentor helped him feel connected to his culture and community, as he was new to Austin.

This show will continue to educate the community about important events that are taking place at ACC, will feature more Ascender familia who will share their stories, and will discuss important topics that impact the community. “Ready, Set Ascender!” hopes to encourage students to be involved in virtual events, give back to their community, and to stay motivated in school!

To view the show, go to

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