The goal of the Youth services focus area is to empower Latino youth to achieve educational success. This work includes the Latino Youth Leadership Academy Mentoring Program; large-scale annual events La Feria de Educación Latina and the Latino Youth Leadership Conference; and advocacy to address Latino K-12 education access and in-state tuition for DACA recipients.
- Atlanta United
- Georgia Power Foundation
- Georgia State University Research Foundation
- Kaiser Permanente
- The Brace Family Foundation
- The Harland Charitable Foundation
- The Imlay Foundation
- United Way of Greater Atlanta
Latino Youth Leadership Academy (LYLA)
Research shows that engaging Latino youth and their families in school leads to better student performance. The year-round Latino Youth Leadership Academy initiative, offered now at six metro Atlanta schools with a high percentage of Latinos, provides middle school and high school students with an after-school program that teaches them skills needed to succeed in school and college; leadership development; cultural and physical activities; test preparation and academic support; digital literacy; and college and career exploration through field trips, career days and mentorships. Parent involvement is a critical component of this initiative.
The LAA offers 2 programs for parents. Parent advocates class and Openings Doors
A) Parent Advocates who seek to advance their understanding and awareness of local educational opportunities. Throughout the 5 session training experience, parents will:
- Learn strategies to support their child’s success
- Understand how to navigate the school system to impact their child’s education
- Use concrete tools to make positive change in their communities
- Develop a network of community partners who work together for collective impact
B) The LAA offers a 10 week curriculum called Opening Doors. Parent input helps develop the Abriendo Puertas / Opening Doors curriculum, which uses the “popular education” approach to engage parents in lessons that reflect the culture of the target audience. The interactive sessions draw from real-life experiences, incorporate data about local schools and communities, and focus on helping Latino parents understand their important role in the development of and long-term impact on their children’s educational outcomes. The train-the–trainer model helps local family service providers improve their outreach and interaction with families, and create a sustainable program that reaches beyond the initial training sessions.
Each of the curriculum sessions is grounded in a “dicho” or popular sayings, and incorporates culturally familiar activities and data. The curriculum, available in both Spanish and English promotes:
- school readiness, family well-being, and advocacy by addressing best practices in brain development
- key aspects of early childhood development (cognitive, language, physical, and social/emotional)
- early literacy, numeracy, bilingualism, health, attendance, civic engagement, parent leadership, goal setting, and planning for family success
To support Latino parents in their roles as family leaders and as their child’s first and most influential teacher.
- Abriendo Puertas is the nation’s first evidence-based curriculum developed by and for Latino parents with children ages 0-5
- Developed by the Tides Center, a respected national nonprofit advocacy and research organization, in partnership with Latino-serving nonprofits and educational institution
- Through a two-generation approach, program builds parent leadership skills and knowledge to promote family well-being and positive education outcomes for children
Latino College Resources
COLLEGE ACCESS WORKSHOPS
Our staff conducts several college access workshops each year for high school students and their parents focused on topics such as applying to college, getting financial aid and succeeding in college.
CULTURAL COMPETENCY TRAINING
We also work with school administrators, teachers and other community organizations – such as Teach for America — in offering cultural competency training. These sessions are aimed at providing proven strategies for teaching Latino students and supporting their academic success. We believe that Youth Education is the key to success.