For Immediate Release
August 15, 2012
LNESC RECEIVES INCREASE IN FEDERAL FUNDING AWARDS FOR UPWARD BOUND GRANTS TARGETING CRISIS IN COLLEGE ACCESS FOR LATINOS
12 Awards Totaling $16.25 Million Demonstrate Federal Confidence in LNESC as a Key Education Resource for the Latino Community
WASHINGTON, DC —LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC), one of the nation’s largest Hispanic education organizations serving over 11,000 students a year, is proud to announce that it is the recipient of $16.25 million dollars in grant awards for their Upward Bound and Talent Search programs. The Upward Bound program is an early intervention program focused on students who have "college potential" but often do not recognize or understand their academic and career options beyond high school. LNESC retained funding from the Department of Education for 7 existing Upward Bound programs in Dallas, TX; San Antonio, TX; Corpus Christie, TX; Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Albuquerque, NM, Philadelphia, PA; and Miami, FL and will establish new programs in Kansas City, MO; San Antonio, TX; and Colorado Springs, CO. In late 2011, LNESC was also the recipient of 2 Talent Search programs by the Department of Education to provide college access programing for underprivileged students in Houston and El Paso, Texas. In total, LNESC’s federal support for the next 5 years is approximately $16.25 million.
According to LNESC Executive Director Richard Roybal, “With its emphasis on individualized counseling and assistance in everything from academic tutoring to personal counseling and financial aid assistance, these Upward Bound awards are essential to ensuring Hispanic students have equal opportunities to higher-education. By not only retaining funding for the existing programs but also increasing our federal awards, the Department of Education is demonstrating its confidence in LNESC’s ability to provide quality educational programming to some of the highest need communities around the country.”
“The funding comes at a time when critical federal programs are being slashed – over
200 current Upward Bound programs were cut this year,” said LNESC board chairwoman Rosa Rosales. “Our program growth is a testament to the vital role LNESC plays in ensuring the nation’s largest minority population has the access to the higher education necessary to secure the jobs of tomorrow.”
The Upward Bound and Talent Search programs are essential components of LNESC’s strategy to closing the achievement gap in the Hispanic community. According to a recent report from Excelencia in Education, only 19% of Latinos between the ages of 25 and 64 have an associate’s degree or some other form of higher education – compared to 38% of all adults. The Upward Bound program is helping to correct this inequality – nationally, 91% of Upward Bound participants who graduate from high school enroll in a post-secondary degree program the year of their graduation, compared to 41% of students not in an Upward Bound program. LNESC’s Miami, FL Upward Bound program is an example of this success as 89% of all participants passed both the English and Math state-based comprehensive standardized tests- far exceeding the goal of 60% improvement. The high success rate is the result of valuable programming usually reserved for high-income communities such as a 6-week college campus summer program, 10 college visits, and specialized SAT and ACT prep. LNESC works to ensure that the students served are prepared to graduate high school and successfully complete a post-secondary education.
“Education is the civil rights issue of our time,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. “Not until we begin to address the inequities that exist for low income minority youth, will we see a turn-around in low graduation rates and lack of college attendance in the Latino community. It’s programs like Upward Bound that will help bridge the achievement gap that is responsible for the unrealized potential in our youth.”
LULAC National Educational Service Centers, Inc. (LNESC) was established in 1973 by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to provide educational programming to high-need students throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Through our education and technology centers, LNESC has served over 500,000 students, sent 150,000 students on to college, and awarded nearly $20 million in scholarships. LNESC’s results are made possible by a network of dedicated field staff, top-notch teachers, over 90 school partners, and the support of LULAC - the nation’s largest membership based Latino organization. LNESC works to change lives and build Latino communities, one student at a time. More information about LNESC and its programs can be found at www.LNESC.org.