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11/19/2011 10:17:00 AM
Catholic Charities receives grant to prepare Latino youth for college
Catholic Charities photo
Members of a Catholic Charities program helping bridge gap between 8th and 9th grades.
Catholic Charities photo
Members of a Catholic Charities program helping bridge gap between 8th and 9th grades.

Catholic Charities El Programa Hispano has been awarded the Oregon College Access Challenge Grant to provide college preparation services to low-income Latino youth in Multnomah County.

The $26,437 grant will allow several of El Programa Hispano’s existing programs to expand and will strengthen mentoring and case management services.

“This grant will help us build our capacity to provide pre-college preparation services to Latino youth,” said Alison Dunfee, El Programa Hispano School Based Services program manager. “It will also help us work more intensively with students already receiving case management services by not only supporting them to stay in high school and graduate on time, but also by helping them to realize their dreams of going to college.”

The grant will assist El Programa Hispano add new services including family workshops, college fairs and a college student shadowing program. Students will now receive information about college options, admission, and financial aid from trained volunteer mentors who work one-on-one with them throughout the year.

The program Together For a Better Education, which helps entire families join together to gain the knowledge and skills needed to bridge the gap from high school to college, will be offered at three high schools in Multnomah County.

Intensive case management will be offered to 9th grade Latino students who have attended Puentes, El Programa Hispano’s 8th to 9th grade summer transition program. Case managers will work with the students throughout their entire 9th grade year and will promote their academic achievement by providing age appropriate and culturally specific academic support, case management, and family engagement services.

Three times each year, Catholic Charities will offer events focused on bringing Latino students from surrounding high schools to the Portland State University campus, where they shadow a Latino university student who is matched based on mutual interests. Participants will attend classes, listen to a keynote speaker, take part in a campus tour and attend workshops.

Latino-specific college fairs and workshops will be offered in the winter and spring of 2012. Local college and university recruiters will attend and provide information about admissions and academic programs. Additionally, El Programa Hispano will offer presentations and workshops about the college application and admissions process, scholarships and financial aid.

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