KEY IMPACT AREAS
1. MOVING FROM MAINTENANCE TO MISSION
Providing schools with data-informed and mission-driven technical assistance and financial support to ensure that together we address and overcome the equity gaps in education that disproportionately impact Latino students.
The impact of Covid-19 has negatively impacted all students, however research indicates that Latino and Black students were disproportionately affected by Covid, and the gap is widening. During the 2021-2022 school year chronic absenteeism, which leads to learning loss, reached over 40% in some of the nation’s largest schools districts. National standardized test scores indicate significant losses in reading and math. Each of these areas has disproportionately impacted Latino students. Lower enrollment rates, higher levels of absenteeism combined with two years of pandemic related losses will have lasting impacts on students’ future success and require prudent action. Below is a brief review of the most pertinent statistics impacting Latino students:
Over $282 Billion spent on Education Covid relief.
20-27% drop in Math Scores in grades 3-8.
9-18% drop in Reading Scores in grades 3-8
Equity gap grew to 20% in Math and 15% in reading
Chronic absenteeism among Latinos reported 5-9% higher in larger districts.
San Juan Diego Institute (SJDI) provided technical assistance, research and facilitated grant acquisition and distribution in multiple states before, during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. SJDI aims to make significant impacts in providing schools with the support they need to close the equity gap: Improving school outcomes, increasing the capacity to serve, empowering parents, supporting school choice, and creating pathways to post-graduation achievement.
2. EMPOWERING THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS
Providing Dreamer, First-Generation & Latino students with financial support, mentorship, citizenship and civic engagement, leadership development and wrap around support services to achieve graduate degrees in under-represented critical fields in science, health, and policy
Dreamer students enter college at a lower rate than their peers, and despite high levels of performance in undergraduate programs, many never continue on to graduate education. Dreamer students are often disincentivized to seek higher degrees due to ineligibility for in-state tuition rates and lack of access to the financial means and other support resources necessary to successfully complete degrees in these critically needed and well-paying sectors of the economy. A disproportionate number of highly skilled Latino college graduates do not enter graduate programs in critical science and health fields at the level that can lead to transformational change. Furthermore, private lenders do not want to take on the higher-risk associated with these loans.
7.4% of graduate students in Masters Programs are Latino despite making up 21.7% of total undergraduate population.
7.1% graduate completion among Latino students vs. 51.8% completion among Anglo students.
9.2% of Latino students enrolled in Masters Programs were in STEM fields.
8% of STEM jobs are filled by Latinos despite making up 18% of the US workforce.
3. GRASSROOT CHANGE AND COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT
Providing faith-based social service and community development organizations that serve immigrants in workforce development, housing, and education, with data-informed and mission-aligned technical and financial assistance.
Tom Espinoza Co-founded Raza Development Fund with a vision to serve the community drawing inspiration from the teachings of Saint. Mother Teresa and Saint John Paul II through every aspect of his community development work. Tom remains committed to helping faith-based organizations maximize their impact of supporting the dignity of each person and providing opportunities for true empowerment (good employment, stable housing, access to education, health care, and family flourishing). This includes the many large faith-based organizations like Saint Vincent de Paul, Catholic Charities which serve over 20 million people each year and smaller non-profits and apostolates, whose lay leadership are not typically served by traditional Diocesan and broader Church structures. These organizations are often experts on the ground of how best to serve those in need and advocate for and with them for transformational change.