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'Ugly Betty' star calls on Latina women

July 26, 2009 at 3:40 PM
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CHICAGO, July 26 (UPI) -- "Ugly Betty" actress America Ferrara said at a Chicago appearance her fellow Latina women should take steps to limit their dropout rate.

The 25-year-old actress used her college commencement speech for Kaplan University to decry the high school dropout rate among women in her culture, the Chicago Sun-Times said Sunday.

"The No. 1 demographic of high school dropouts are Latino women," Ferraro said Saturday at the Navy Pier event. "I know there are economic factors for why young Latinos are so undereducated, but it also starts with what we place importance on as a culture."

"We have to empower the next generation to accept education as a way up, and I believe you have to start with the women so they can pass it on to their kids," she added.

Ferraro, who plays Betty Suarez on "Ugly Betty," also applauded the more than 2,500 Kaplan graduates for balancing their education with other life factors.

"I can relate to how hard it is to continue to make education an important part of my life while balancing my career," said Ferrara, who is earning a bachelor's degree at the University of Southern California.

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