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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Wilmer Valderrama wants kids to go to college, unlike him


    An organization dedicating to helping Latino students prepare for college has partnered with actor Wilmer Valderrama for a series of nation-wide workshops aimed at training students to plan and finance their education.

    In May, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) forged a partnership with the “That 70’s Show” star in an attempt to increase visibility for the organization, CHCI Communications Specialist Shani Provost told Thursday.

    “[Valderrama] is a perfect match overall. He is someone who has a reputation as a role model in the Latino community and he continues to break ground with his visible and positive changes in the community,” Provost said.

    But while many teens grew up watching Valderrama on “That 70’s Show” and know the star for his comedic talent, many might not be aware that after graduating from high school in 1999, he did not attend college.

    So what kind of message does an actor who didn’t attend college offer high school students looking to do so?

    Provost said it is precisely Valderrama’s background that makes him the kind of person who can inspire the students to continue their education.

    “When Valderrama converses with the youth at the workshop, he openly admits the fact that very few people make it as thriving entertainers and emphasizes the importance of receiving an education [instead],” Provost said. “The teens relate to his message of overcoming life’s hurdles and shortcomings by having a plan that involves higher education to ensure a successful future.”

    Valderrama and the CHCI will appear at Northern Illinois University this weekend.

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