2011 Ford Driving Dreams Through Education Grantees

In 2011, LULAC and the Ford Motor Company Fund selected 10 new LULAC Councils to implement innovative education programs in their communities. The programs below are currently starting their second year of the program.

Learn more about the amazing education programs being implemented in a community near you! LULAC encourages you to get connected to a program in your area or follow their trajectory through LULAC’s Facebook page: The League of United Latin American Citizens.

For more information contact: Elena Segura, Education Program Coordinator, ESegura@LULAC.org


Anaheim – LULAC Council #2848
Together with Anaheim High School Independent Learning Center (ILC), a technology-supported independent study program, Anaheim LULAC #2848 will help students acquire the academic and behavioral skills needed to achieve their high school diploma. Anaheim High School was selected to establish an ILC, which provides a blended alternative that allows students to stay connected with their home school through extracurricular school based activities. Anaheim LULAC #2848 will enhance and the ILC program through leadership workshops, field trips to visit area colleges and to explore career opportunities, incentives for students, and parental involvement workshops.

The program aims to provide a personalized learning experience, online learning, flexible school hours, career preparation, social and emotional support to help disengaged students who have dropped out of school graduate. In addition, the project will also develop an online resource library and physical library with books, magazines, job opportunities and other resources for students. Students in Anaheim, CA, LULAC Council 2848


East Aurora – LULAC Council #5218
Through “Sí, Se Puede,” LULAC #5218 will partner with East Aurora School District 131 and work with 30 at-risk East Aurora High freshmen. The program has three main components. These include a mentoring program using adult community volunteers and Familias Unidas, a monthly workshop where students and their parents can learn about the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in school and in life, including two field trips to neighboring colleges and universities. Through Creando Conexiones, field trips to business and industry sites, students will hear from Latino professionals about how they apply classroom studies like reading, writing, math and science to their work. They will also discuss etiquette and workplace ethics. This will be reinforced by guided lunch-time discussions between the students and their Counseling Department Chair and Career Center Coordinator.

This program aims to positively impact East Aurora High School, a school with drop-out rates that are 68% higher than the Illinois average and graduation rates 18% lower than the state average.


Michigan City – LULAC Council #5006
“After a while, I lost my shyness and grew with the group. I felt like I learned a lot and listening skills grew as well. Also, I got to learn how to be a leader. I can’t wait to join the program again”

The South Bend Community School Corporation 2009 high school dropout rate was almost double the state average, with a majority dropouts being African-American and Latino students. Working with La Casa de Amistad, a LULAC Tech Center, LULAC #5006 will expand the Casa de Amistad’s Adelante America program. This youth program covers four areas: academic support, leadership and cultural enrichment, pro-social skills/recreation and parental and teacher engagement. As part of the academic support, students will receive tutorial assistance with an emphasis on English (reading & writing) and Math support and help with homework. They will also be exposed to different cultural arts and leadership workshops and participate in outdoor and indoor structure activities like soccer and basketball to build upon their social skills and teamwork. A coordinator will work closely with the student’s parents to help bridge the gap that often exists between Spanish-speaking parents and teachers. This coordinator will serve as a mediator and interpreter to help teachers and parents communicate about student’s academic development and behavioral improvement.


Kansas – LNESC/ LULAC Council #9607

Kansas City is cited as one of the cities with the largest growth in the Latino population according to the Census. Although the high school graduation rate for Kansas is 75percent this number drastically drops for Hispanics who lag the furthest with a graduation rate of 45 percent. Through the LNESC KC College Coach program, LNESC KC and LULAC Council #9607 will work to change these statistics. LNESC employees will work with 9-12th grade urban core students attending East, Alta Vista and J.C. Harmon High Schools to help them identify and apply for scholarships targeted at minority or undeserved students. They will also help them pursue higher education by working with them to identify and navigate through college application process. LULAC Council #9607 members will serve as mentors to the students and guest speakers. KC College Coach will also encourage the program youth to be involved in community improvement projects and local events to foster the student’s sense of citizenship and pride in the community.


Bronx – LULAC Council #23044
The Bronx-LULAC Consortium, in collaboration with the Sports Foundation, Inc. and Servicing our Youth, Inc. (SOY), will provide educational programs and college-bound activities for 40 10th and 11th graders. This 5-hour per week program will focus on the following four areas: academics and personal skills; social responsibility and community/cultural awareness; physical health and personal behavioral choices; and nutrition and recreation. The students will participate in two field trips per year organized around college admission and recruitment. Other local trips to the library and cultural institutions will be organized and will focus on strengthening skills taught through the program.

Syracuse – LULAC Council #204558
LULAC Syracuse’s high school readiness program will provide tutoring, mentoring and exposure to educational and career opportunities for 8th graders. Syracuse University students recruited by La Casita Cultural Center, an educational, artistic, and cultural hub, will tutor the students. In addition, Latino professionals, including Syracuse University professors, local High School guidance counselors, and Say Yes! To Education staff will mentor the students. They will also lead specific workshops based on their specializations, like college-readiness, and organize field trips to businesses so that students can see how their studies apply to the real world. Each yearly program will culminate with a career and education fair for parents and the program participants.

Check out the students recent Art Project by clicking on this link: http://animoto.com/play/ie1nKakIL5Rif1Ky6HY6CQ


Cincinnati – LULAC Council #39004
Named “Vision 20-20 for Success” for its goal to improve educational outcomes for urban Latino youth in Cincinnati by 2020, this initiative will implement programs for elementary and high school students. Cincinnati LULAC will expand the Girls Action Teams (GATS) initiative for 6th-8th graders to allow participation of 4th graders (graduating class of 2020) and up to 20 girls. This after-school enrichment program promotes academic achievement, graduation and the pursuit of careers in areas such as science or technology through interactive educational activities and monthly field trips. LULAC Cincinnati will also expand and enhance the “Grupo de Padres Unidos,” a parent-led group that provide educational support to Latino and immigrant parents to help them serve as advocates for their children as they navigate the U.S. school system.

At the high school level, LULAC Cincinnati will start an after-school club called, “Vision 20-20 Club” for 20 students from both genders. Monthly guest speakers will share career options with the students, particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. In addition, Vision 20-20 Club will organize field trips to college campuses where they will participate in cultural, educational and college-readiness activities. LULAC Cincinnati will also create a Grupo de Padres Unidos modeled after the one currently at AMIS.

Dayton – LULAC Council #39000
The Camino de Vida (Life Path) program will work to narrow the gap of identified academic disparities of Latinos 9-12th grade students through one-on-one tutoring and mentorship. LULAC Ohio will work with Wright State University, University of Dayton’s Fitz Center for Leadership in Community and the Dayton Public School District on this initiative. Between 20-30 students will be matched with mentors from Wright State University, the University of Dayton and other community organizations. The mentors will commit to one year of weekly meetings with the students where they will facilitate hands-on activities for students to develop and practice their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The program will encourage family participation through monthly orientations meetings where parents can learn to navigate the education system in Dayton. Dayton Public Schools have experienced a sharp increase in students identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP). Many of these LEP students are new to the United States and their limited English language skills place them at high-risk for school failure and school dropout. Through this one-on-one mentoring, the “Camino de Vida” program will help these students gain the language skills needed to change this trend.


Victoria – LULAC Council #4692<
Through Project U-Turn, LULAC Council #4692 will work with twenty at-risk students sent to Mitchell Guidance Center, Victoria Independent School District’s alternative academic placement facility, to implement an Individual Graduation Plan. It will establish a positive connection between students, their families and involvement in their education and community. The plan will connect each student with a support team consisting of a guidance counselor, advisory teacher, parent or guardian, peer student and mentor/tutor. Students will meet regularly with this team to receive tutoring and get involved in community volunteer projects to build self-esteem and learn the importance of being active members of the community. Students will also take part in quarterly day trips to surrounding colleges and universities and visit local community businesses and industries to experience job skills and learn what businesses look for in future employees. Students who graduate during the program will earn a trip to the DMV to obtain ID’s, caps and gowns for their graduation ceremony. Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a $100 stipend. The program is greatly needed in Victoria given that according to school attendance records, on any given day in VISD, there are nearly 900 students who fail to attend school without a valid excuse, deeming them truant.


Milwaukee – LULAC Council #326
Through the LULAC’s Academic Enhancement Program, LULAC #326 will work with 20 students from Pulaski and South Division High Schools, who have the highest Hispanic student enrollment. Through a partnership with Milwaukee Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the program will help facilitate the transition of the participants from high school to a post-secondary setting. Each student will be designated with four guidance champions who will lead the students’ action plan and offer support. These champions will include high school educators, community partners and college faculty, depending on each student individual challenges and needs.