Blog: Latino Ed Beat

High schools Embrace Latino-themed Organizations On Campus

High schools are beginning to recognize that clubs and organizations specifically targeted toward Latino youth are one way to increase student engagement.

The Winston Salem-Journal in North Carolina reports that  Mount Tabor High School recently launched a Latino Achievers program geared at instilling students’ pride in their heritage and making them aware of educational opportunities. Last school year, the program served 800 Hispanic students in six area high schools.

The program brings successful Latino adults, including those in professions such as nursing and interpreting, on campus to speak with students. They also are provided other academic support.

A school counselor reached out to the local YMCA about the program, which helps operate the program with support from the United Way. The Latino Achievers program is administered in cities across the United States.

The students feel “someone cares about them and wants to invest in their future,”  Mount Tabor counselor Corey Daniel told the newspaper. “We need them to care about their community, and we need their community to care about them.”

Similarly, in the Dallas suburb of Irving, Texas, students and teachers created the Latinos Stand Up organization for Hispanic families, providing opportunities for students such as college visits. The League of Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, also has a youth leadership program with local site chapters throughout the United States.

I have noticed that these organizations can draw criticism based on the fact that they target once specific ethnic group.

Are you seeing similar organizations form in your communities? Are the groups being met with any resistance or controversy?