Empowering Latino Futures (ELF) Success Fund 2022
The Empowering Latino Futures Success Fund provides the resources that enable the Latino community to move forward by amplifying their voices in literature, increasing financial informational resources for students to graduate from college, and building community trust with service providers. Each area is important to reach equal representation in the U.S. Your donations, large or small, can contribute to helping change the future of our Latino communities.
Empowering Latino Students Initiative
First generation Latino and immigrant students most often dropout of college due to a lack of funding and insufficient academic support. Data from the US Department of Education shows that a staggering 50% of Latino students drop out of post secondary education before completing their second year of studies (US Department of Education). Students should be able to cover tuition, school materials and living expenses, but that is not always possible.
Over the past 25 years, ELF has tried to increase college success through its Empowering Students program that has existed as a printed directory and CDs of financial resources and a database of 2,100 scholarships and grants. To increase accessibility to this database of resources, we are developing The Empowering Latino Students Initiative, a free interactive and searchable website, to provide a quick, user-friendly way for students, parents, guardians, and counselors to access scholarships and grant funds online. The website will provide – in English and Spanish – guidance to assist students in identifying and qualifying for scholarships and grants and helping them find Latino and DACA friendly programs. It will provide calendars and guidance to help Latino students successfully qualify and apply for these funds. Uniquely, it will include materials to help users understand both the financial aid and college admission processes and “how-to” guides to help parents and guardians support their students as they prepare for and complete funding applications.
Our goal is to empower Latino students facing funding shortages and to increase college graduation rates. Your donations will support this bilingual interactive website to effectively link Latino students to available funding and support. See our progress at www.EmpoweringStudents.org
Uplifting Latino Voices in Literature
Latino Reads: 40% of the authors involved in our programs do not have enough online information about themselves to properly promote their books and develop their career as an author. The problem here is content production and digital support. During the past six years, our team including volunteers interviewed authors, filmed, and collected materials from the authors such as their photos, book covers, author biography, and marketing statements. Up to date, the organization has collected hundreds of video interviewes but lacks available funds to cover the editing, promotion, and distribution of all these pieces. We believe this is critical in the process to uplift Latino voices in literature; therefore, we will continue producing the interviews and seek support to maintain this effort. View our progress at www.Books.LatinoBookAwards.org
Education Begins in the Home
Low reading skills and lack of books in the homes have inspired Education Begins in the Home (EBH) to continue and push forward. Our goal is to help improve the reading levels of our youth by continuing to put books in the hands of our youth with a main focus on elementary schools throughout North County San Diego. The program has given over 160,000 FREE books in over 600 events since May 2015. Over the last 2 years during the covid pandemic, we have partnered with food programs making them a Food and Book Distribution effort. Three glaring statistics continue to motivate the group’s effort – the number of 3rd graders NOT reading at 3rd-grade level; the number of pre-K students NOT being K-ready and the number of low-income families NOT owning books at home. “If children don’t have books at home, how can they become habit readers?” This effort is 100% volunteer-based and seeks funding to cover the storage, transportation, and costs for volunteers. All of our events can be seen on our Facebook page – EducationBeginsinthe Home and our overall efforts can be seen on our program’s website at www.OpenaBook.org
Latino Book & Family Festivals Support Fund
Over the years, statistics have shown that low-income communities are the most vulnerable and their needs are greatly influenced by health, economic, and education factors. During the pandemic, Latino children’s poverty rates increased, especially among children in immigrant families (Hispanic Research Center). Our goals are to facilitate access to resources about health, financial, economic security, reading, education, as well as arts and culture. Our communities face many hardships and we seek to increase access to the resources they might need during these challenging times. Visit www.LBFF.us to see how our Latino Book & Family Festivals have positively influenced our communities and have provided some of the aforementioned resources.
Kids Succeed When Parents Read
Scholastic Books research found that only 20% of Latino parents read to their children aloud on a regular basis compared to 62% of mainstream parents. This is 42% lower than the mainstream average. Furthermore, several studies have shown that children from low-income families hear 3,000,000 fewer words by the time they turn three than children from middle-class families. The combined result is that Latino children on average enter the educational system nearly a year behind other students. The disparity in reading ability cascades into under-performance in other subjects. Kids Succeed when Parents Read will guide, encourage, and motivate Latino parents to read to their kids, and to see reading as a bonding time while ensuring a better future for their children. This program is in the process of being developed and will exist as a print and online package accessible by educational institutions, nonprofits, libraries, and interested individuals. More details at empoweringlatinofutures.org/kids-succeed
North County Informador
Unlike the South County, there is a lack of local Latino media outlets serving the North County especially in print format. An estimated 330,000 Latinos are currently living in North County with language preferences ranging from English dominant or bilingual to Spanish dominant. Data shows that for Latino adults, 33% of the population would prefer Spanish sources. This means that any COVID-19 vaccination information has to reach this market in the language they prefer, in a format they can easily access and without digital difficulties. The focus of this project will be to bring together various community resources to low-income, migrant families as a print news source to communities in the North County San Diego. In particular, this project will bring direct information to the families in a bilingual format, English and Spanish. An emphasis will be brought to areas of San Marcos as part of this effort with the goal to increase the number of vaccinated individuals, especially among Latino families. The funding from the grant will help cover 50% of the costs for printing ($18,000), editorial personnel ($22,800), and distribution ($4,200) for a duration of nine months. The North County Informador will be distributed via a weekly eNewsletter, a monthly printed magazine, the website as well as social media platforms. Currently, our organization has partners with over 30 local organizations across North County with potential for initial drop points for this effort. Virtual information will be posted at www.NorthCountyInformador.com
Thank you in advance for your support!
Donate to support ELF programs!
As a nonprofit, ELF programs are funded through partnerships, events and donations. We seek your support to continue our efforts. You can also be part of our volunteer committees to bring in your ideas!