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Soledad O'Brien To Moderate "Latinos in Higher Education: Staying in School & Achieving Success" Panel Discussion Featuring Congressman Joaquin Castro, Pamela Silva-Conde, Benita Veliz Saturday, August 31 In San Antonio

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NEW YORK, Aug. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Organizers for FESTIVAL PEOPLE EN ESPANOL Presented by Target--the multi-faceted celebration of Hispanic entertainment and culture--are proud to announce details for "Latinos in Higher Education: Staying in School and Achieving Success" panel hosted by award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien, taking place at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 2pm(CT). The discussion will feature segments that address a variety of critical issues with feedback from public figures who have overcome challenges to achieve success. The panel also follows individual community events aimed at supporting education for Hispanic students in San Antonio including Aug. 30 appearances from Festival performers, Disney Channel star Adam Irigoyen at Robert G. Cole Middle and High School at Ft. Sam Houston military base, and HBO Latino boxer Sergio Martinez, and Olympic medal-winning boxer and HBO Latino's Habla Women participant Marlen Esparza at Lanier High School in District 5 .

Confirmed participants for the panel about the future of Latinos in education include Congressman Joaquin Castro, Pamela Silva-Conde, co-anchor of Univision News' Primer Impacto and Benita Velez, DreamAct activist. Beyond the panels, two recipients in San Antonio will receive the Time Warner/ People en Espanol Scholarship valued at $10,000 in partnership with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). MundoFox will contribute an $8,000 scholarship in partnership with HSF. Each scholarship must be used in the 2013-14 academic year.

Eligibility Criteria:

-- Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher -- Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident -- Must apply for federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) -- Be of Hispanic heritage -- Selected students must be residents of San Antonio

"Education has meant everything for my family and me. But, the importance of education is not unique to my family. Education should be the surest path to success for all Americans," said Congressman Joaquin Castro [TX-20]. "I look forward to having a conversation in my hometown of San Antonio about coming together as a community to ensure that education is affordable and accessible to all students."

"Latinos in Higher Education: Staying in School and Achieving Success" panel topics will range from policy and legislation to scholarships and funding.

Set for this Labor Day weekend (Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1) in San Antonio, Texas, FESTIVAL PEOPLE EN ESPANOL Presented by Target offers free open-to-the-public daytime activities at The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, and a mix of live performances each evening at the Alamodome. VIA Metropolitan Transit will offer free special event park and ride service to the People en Espanol Festival in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the Alamodome Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. Park and ride service will be offered to Festival from the Crossroads Park and Ride, the Randolph Boulevard Park and Ride, and the Frank Madla Transit Center from 8:30 a.m. through midnight on both days, and return service from the Alamodome will run for 45 minutes after the end of the concerts.

The presenting sponsor for Festival PEOPLE EN ESPANOL 2013 is Target and major sponsors include Coca-Cola, Jeep and MundoFox. Official sponsors are Bexar County, Interjet, HBO Latino, Pine Sol, the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. #festivalpeople

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN:Soledad O'Brien is an award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer. She is the originator of the highly successful documentary series "Latino in America" and "Black in America". In June 2013, O'Brien launched Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company, dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at the often divisive issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, through personal stories.

CONGRESSMAN JOAQUIN CASTROJoaquin Castro was born in San Antonio, Texas. A second generation Mexican American, he was raised on the city's Westside and is a proud product of the public school system. After finishing high school a year early, Joaquin left San Antonio to graduate with honors from Stanford University in 1996. He then went on to attend Harvard Law School where he received his Juris Doctorate degree in 2000. Having experienced America's promise firsthand, Joaquin wants to help build out what he calls the Infrastructure of Opportunity so that future generations will have the same chance to pursue their American Dream. He served five terms in the Texas state legislature representing District 125. In 2012 Joaquin was elected to serve in the U.S House of Representatives as representative of Texas Congressional District 20, which covers a large portion of San Antonio and Bexar County. Joaquin's identical twin brother, Julian Castro, was elected in 2011 to his second term as Mayor of San Antonio. Joaquin serves on the House Armed Services Committee, as well as the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He has also been chosen as 2013 co-President for the House freshman Democrats and named Assistant Whip for House Democrats, charged with assisting in rallying members around important legislation. As Congressman, Joaquin continues to be a tireless advocate for those who call San Antonio home. From supporting military families to investing in education, Joaquin remains committed to helping mold an Infrastructure of Opportunity for San Antonians and Americans around the country.

PAMELA SILVA-CONDEPamela Silva-Conde is a six-time Emmy award winning journalist and co-anchor of Univision's newsmagazine "Primer Impacto." Silva has covered major news stories; most recently, she reported live on the terrorist attack at the Boston marathon. Previously, Silva was the national correspondent for Univision's "Aqui y Ahora" with which she continues collaborating. Silva is a board of directors member of Amigos for Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing child abuse, and is a volunteer and spokesperson for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

BENITA VELIZ:Benita Veliz-Holguin is an undocumented American. She immigrated as a child and excelled in school, graduating valedictorian of her high school at the age of 16 and earning a double major from college at the age of 20. She was placed in removal proceedings at the age of 23 and became a DREAM activist to fight for an estimated 2.2 million undocumented young people. Benita was the first undocumented immigrant to speak at a national political convention.

About PEOPLE EN ESPANOL:PEOPLE EN ESPANOL was launched in 1996 as a special issue, and today has become the top-selling Hispanic magazine in the United States. Published 11 times a year, PEOPLE EN ESPANOL's guaranteed circulation is 540,000 and reaches over six million readers every month with its editorial mix of Hispanic and popular entertainment, fashion and beauty trends, and compelling human-interest stories. PEOPLE EN ESPANOL delivers original editorial content that captures the values, contributions and impact of today's Hispanics in the U.S. PEOPLE EN ESPANOL celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2011. For daily news, photos, exclusive behind-the-scenes video and celebrity scoops, visit


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