How One NCLR Affiliate is Helping Low-Income Latinos Build Wealth

By Agatha So, Policy Analyst, Economic Policy Project, NCLR

Senior Counselor Dora Beltran talking with participants in the citizenship program, held at our Affiliate CARECEN in Washington, DC.

Building wealth is essential for Latinos to achieve financial prosperity today, and is essential to the prosperity of generations to come. That’s why NCLR works with nearly 300 community-based Affiliates across the country to help Latinos improve their credit, increase their savings, and build wealth. The Washington, DC-based Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), a member of the NCLR Homeownership Network (NHN), is a pioneer in offering financial capability services for Latino families. As we continue Financial Capability Month, we’re proud to feature the work of Anabell Martinez, Housing Director at CARECEN.

Martinez and the CARECEN staff focus on how they can empower Latino families to make informed financial decisions. “For many clients coming to CARECEN for financial counseling, it’s the first time they hear about making a budget,” said Martinez. She understands the need for financial capability because she knows what kind of questions Latino families have about building wealth and the difficulties they face to protect what they have earned.

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The Tejano Center is Training the Next Generation of STEM Leaders

 Guest blog post by Giovanni Escobedo, Youth Advisory Committee Member, NCLR

Our children grow up in a society that demands expertise in everything. Deciding to sit back and rely solely on learning from textbooks is not enough for their overall development. We live in the age of specialization, and children cannot afford to miss out on this window of opportunity and be left behind. The Tejano Center’s Raul Yzaguirre Schools for Success in Brownsville, Texas is working hard to address that problem by providing educational offerings in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields to the children of South Texas with the help NCLR’s CHISPA initiative.

At the Tejano Center, kids meet twice a week to work on science lessons and to learn what it takes to become scientists. In groups of about six students from various grade levels, they collaborate to perform experiments while simultaneously strengthening their interpersonal and leadership skills. Their conversations across the table are a sign that they understand and enjoy the lesson—and that they have mastered the complex scientific concepts to the point where they can explain them to each other in a way that is easy to understand.

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Making Mental Health Services Work for Latino Youth

Bringing mental and behavioral health programs into schools increases early access to interventions, reduces the stigma around mental health issues, and normalizes the need for a healthy, supportive environment in schools. These were some of the issues addressed during last week’s Facebook Live event in celebration of National School Counselor Week, where NCLR’s Deputy Research Director Patricia Foxen was joined by Lourdes Rubio, Licensed Professional School Counselor for Arlington Schools, and Marisa Parrella, Senior Clinical Manager at Mary’s Center, for a discussion on school-based mental health programs for Latino students.

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NCLR Affiliates Meet in Florida for 2017 Peer Exchange

Late last month, NCLR hosted the NCLR Affiliate Network Peer Exchange in Hollywood, Fla. The 2016 NCLR Affiliate of the Year, Hispanic Unity Florida, played host to the two-day meeting.

Click “more” to see highlights from the event.

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Kids Are at the Heart of the Padres Comprometidos con CHISPA Training

By Eddi Ortiz, Parent and Family Engagement Coordinator, Para Los Niños Charter Schools, NCLR Affiliate

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After traveling to San Antonio for the Padres Comprometidos (PC) con CHISPA training, I walked into the venue and discovered a room full of educators much like myself. Most of us were meeting each other for the first time, but all of us were at the training for the same purpose: to learn from each other and discuss how to best engage parents and families in STEM through the PC con CHISPA program. Now in our third year, PC con CHISPA introduces Latino parents around the country to the STEM concepts their children are learning at school. As a parent facilitator at the training, I had an opportunity to network, share ideas, and work in groups to improve my skills.

I discovered at the training that other parent facilitators face similar challenges in engaging parents. Para Los Niños Charter Schools, located in Los Angeles, works with our city’s most at-risk children, and provides a comprehensive approach to education. We not only focus on academic achievement, but also work to meet each student’s emotional, social, and psychological needs. The PC con CHISPA training allowed me to share best practices and ideas that are working for us at my school.

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