By Efrain Nieves & Victoria Cepeda
There are many questions circling our community. For example, “how do we help our low-income families?” and “how can we get more of the Latino youth to graduate high school and further their education?” Reading an article on wsj.com, recently, answered some of those questions. The article showcased a San Francisco-based foundation, launched in 2003, that has disbursed around $1.8 million, raised from individuals and corporations aimed at helping needy Latino families. Their requirement is simple. They will help those families willing to work hard, as a team, to get their teens to graduate or out of a situation that has slowed them down.
The Latino Community Foundation focuses on Latino families in California. Their mission “is to build a better future for California’s communities by investing in Latino children and their families.” In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Chairwoman Aida M. Alvarez, a Puerto Rico native and Harvard graduate, states:
There is a great bridge that needs to be crossed between Latinos who are professional and entrepreneurs and Latinos living in poverty. The key to success is education. From the beginning, our focus was on the younger population. Research shows that third-grade reading scores are especially important: If children are not reading at grade-level by third grade there is little hope they will meet graduation requirements.
In times when it seems that all news about education and our kids is negative, Ms. Alvarez shows us “que querer es poder”. All is not lost, if you are willing, there is a way. For those willing there is The Latino Community Foundation. Pay their website a visit, become acquainted with their accomplishments, goals and initiatives.
We can all learn from them and emulate, as best as possible, within our own communities.
Photo by Erin Kunkel
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