The University of Oklahoma’s Xi Chapter hosted a successful and inspiring 7th Annual TREE Conference earlier this month. Approximately 450 high school students from the surrounding Oklahoma City area were invited to attend in this college readiness and higher education outreach conference.

The TREE Conference is an acronym for the Tomas Rivera Educational Empowerment Conference and was launched in the Fall of 2006. Dr. Tomás Rivera was a migrant worker who worked alongside his family in the fields before graduating from the University of Oklahoma. Several years after his graduation from OU, Dr. Rivera was named the Chancellor of the University of California at Riverside making him the first minority to ever reach the position.

TREE Conference was created to promote higher education among Latino high school students of Oklahoma through informative seminars, a college fair, and a scholarship banquet. The Xi Chapter awarded nine scholarships at this year’s banquet after reading scholarship applications and essay entries by the students attending.

As a fraternity that was founded on the principle of service and outreach, the Xi Chapter saw it fitting to bring TREE Conference to University of Oklahoma. The seminars offered at Tree focus on providing information on financial aid and admissions. The conference also hosts an Immigration and Education seminar where advocacy is encouraged and where more information on DREAM Act initiatives and legislation are covered.

TREE Conference is funded by donations made to the Xi Chapter as well as sponsorships from the University of Oklahoma’s Diversity Enrichment Programs, BP, Coca-Cola, and the alumni of the Xi Chapter.

“TREE aligns with our mission as a brotherhood because when you look at it its a form of community service, we are equipping all of these soon to be highschool grads with the tools they need to continue their educations, which will benefit the community now and in the future” said Xi Chapter member and Seminar and Workshop Coordinator Ronald Cifuentes.