At the Latino Student Fund (LSF), our goal is to offer programs where students are supported from their first days in the classroom to the day they graduate from high school. The LSF offers seven programs in three program areas: academic support, post-secondary success, and family resources. We designed these three initiatives to encourage a college-going culture from a young age and offer families the chance to learn alongside their children while building a strong community.
Through our dual-generation programs and strong partnerships, the LSF works hard to create opportunities for all students to put themselves on a path to higher education. Over the past three years, we have opened two new program sites and started two new programs. As we continued to expand our services and start new outreach initiatives, we realized that certain marketing techniques, like flyers or brochures, would not succeed in a community where nearly 20% of adults are illiterate and even more speak a language other than English.
Through a partnership with the Crimsonbridge Foundation, the LSF created a series of bilingual videos in English and Spanish to showcase its work to the community. In the videos, students, volunteers, and families shared their stories, including their experiences with the LSF. Students spoke passionately about their LSF tutors, who encouraged students to enjoy learning and reach their fullest potential. Mentors proudly shared stories of progress made by their mentees, and the growth they saw in themselves as mentors, role models and friends. Perhaps the strongest messages came from the mothers and fathers of students, who voiced their opinions in Spanish. For these parents, speaking Spanish is part of their identity, and they want to show their children that language choice should never stop you from advocating for what is important to you.
These videos highlight the impact of the LSF and will be used to engage new students, families, volunteers, and donors. Regardless of reading level or mother tongue, members of the community can watch these videos and learn about the LSF, and how to get involved. As we near our 25th Anniversary in 2019, the Latino Student Fund hopes to broaden its impact by helping even more students reach their potential.