Latinos In Action (LIA) offers an asset-based approach to bridging the graduation and opportunity gap for Latino students, working from within the educational system to create positive change. Our program operates as a year-long elective course taught by a highly qualified teacher at the middle school, junior high and high school level with the goal of empowering Latino youth to lead and strengthen their communities through college and career readiness. We accomplish this by focusing on four pillars: leveraging personal and cultural assets, excelling in education, serving the community, and developing leadership skills.
Because of this unique combination, the LIA model has proven effective throughout the United States. Our students go on to successfully complete post-secondary education and earn a livable wage at a higher rate than the national average while continuing to lead and strengthen their communities. In 2015, LIA was awarded the White House Bright Spot for Hispanic Education by the White House Initiative on Excellence in Hispanic Education. We are currently in 164 schools throughout Idaho, Illinois, Florida, and Utah. In the 2018-2019 school year, LIA will be launching in California and Ohio.
Our culturally relevant, college and career readiness curriculum bolsters students’ current academic performance while preparing them for their futures as college-bound students and contributing members of society. The curriculum offers high-quality instruction on post-secondary education options and readiness, personal development, professionalism, and an exploration of one’s cultural heritage through literary and performing arts.
Each LIA student gains real-life leadership experience by participating in student-lead service, social, and professional committees. We are scaffolding their leadership skills and then infusing the students back into the school community, better prepared to lead and serve.
From approximately October to April, LIA students serve as role models, mentors, and literacy tutors for neighboring elementary school students. This partnership helps both parties develop linguistic proficiency, refine social skills, and deepen their understanding of the value of being bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural.