Central American Resource Center-CARECEN-of California
CARECEN's mission is to promote the human and civil rights of Central Americans and all immigrant communities through educational services, legal services, advocacy and organizing to transform educational, immigration and labor policies.
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- LEARN ·2020 Grants Challenge·🎉 Winner
CARECEN's Parent and Youth Center (PYC) provides leadership and civic engagement skills for immigrant parents and their children. Youth focus on academic enrichment, college admissions & financial aid process assistance to prepare in their transition to college. Parents learn about the intricacies of the Common Core standards and how to navigate the school systems to be effective advocates for their children. CARECEN believes that effective change comes from informed communities who have the tools necessary to advocate for quality education.
- LEARN ·2014 Grants Challenge
College Head Start provides high schools students academic enrichment, college admission/financial aid assistance, and college transition.
- 2013 Grants Challenge
CARECEN’s College Head Start program is designed to monitor participating students from 8th through 12th grade to ensure they are primed for high school graduation, college admission and academic success. According to an LAUSD Policy Bulletin, in 2012 all 9th graders will be required to complete the A-G Requirement in order to graduate from high school. At times, many students have found it difficult to complete this requirement, thus setting up students to either “flunk out” or completely disengage from school and drop out. Admission to CARECEN’s College Head Start program will require family involvement and a commitment to academic and disciplinary guidelines. Program Objective: To create a sustainable high school impact program that is geared to support students from 8th through 12th grade, by monitoring their academic progress and ensuring access to needed academic support to earn a high school diploma and prepare to attend a university, community college, vocational and/or trade school. Program Services: Students enrolled in CARECEN’s College Head Start program will receive the following services: 1. Academic Enrichment/Tutoring; 2. Academic Counseling/Internships 3. College Admissions Guidance 4. College Success and Retention Support 5. Financial Aid Counseling 6. Parent and Family Services 7. Leadership Development 8. Academic /Career Mentoring 9. SAT/ACT and Other Test Preparation Services 10. Scholarship Information. Target Population: College Head Start participants will be composed of: 9th through 12th grade high school students. However, outreach and promotion for the program will begin with middle school students (8th grade students transitioning into 9th grade); academically high and low performing; first generation students to attend college; students/families with limited financial resources, English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learner (ELL) students, and AB540 students. In the first phase of the program, CARECEN will recruit students from Belmont High School’s Small Learning Communities (Belmont). Belmont is one of LAUSD’s most underperforming schools, with a graduation rate of 34%. Because Belmont is within a five-mile radius of CARECEN, we felt it was important to collaborate with them and procure a solid freshman class to participate in College Head Start and ultimately graduate high school and pursue higher academics. Once fully established, the program will include approximately 75 students from 9th to 12th grades. Program Structure: CARECEN has developed its curriculum to address and meet the needs of Pico-Union/Westlake students. CARECEN’s College Head Start model focuses on two areas: 1. Academic: The academic component has students working within a study group that is facilitated by a College Head Start tutor. Students will be grouped with other students who are taking the same course subjects and will collaborate to study the materials. For additional support or upon referral from a College Head Start counselor, students can request one-on-one tutoring with an academic tutor. 2. Leadership: Students will participate in a leadership development program where they will receive the necessary tools to become community leaders and advocates. The following are areas within the leadership program: Community Service: This component focuses on connecting students with their community. Students will work with College Head Start counselors and community leaders to seek-out a project and/or organization that best suits them in an effort to complete their volunteer hours. Given the three Belmont Academies, students will be required to do community projects based on the theme for their academy. In addition, College Head Start counselors will inform and assist students regarding internship opportunities, which they will be able to be incorporate on their resumes. History, Culture and Art: This component will focus on exploring the issue of identity, building students’ self-esteem and confidence, to enable them to graduate from high school. In the end, students will feel they are emotionally prepared for college and will most likely succeed through a seminar series based on Latino immigrant history, culture and the arts. Parents: CARECEN realizes that in order to better serve the needs of our children and youth, parents are a critical partner and have their own set of needs as they work to become better advocates who fight for their child’s education. In response to a great community need, CARECEN developed the Parent Leadership Program. This program educates parents on the basic knowledge regarding the function and structure of the school system in order to support their children’s education and develop an Individual Academic Plan to help students successfully graduate and be ready to attend a college or university. Parents will also learn how to advocate and fight for an equal and quality public education system and improved collaboration between parents and schools.