Over the past 20 years, Llano Grande students have shown that they know what it takes to complete college—more than 85% of the students who have gone through our program have earned their college degree.
This week, our students will be heading up to Washington, DC, to share with others how our community-based, locally influenced brand of teaching and learning has made the difference in creating college success. Edcouch-Elsa High School sophomore Kayla Garza, and juniors Cesar Guerrero, Gina Silva and Ray Uribe, will be attending the Voices In Action: National Youth Summit, happening Saturday, February 26, at the historic Howard University to talk about their own experiences with Llano Grande and the difference it’s made in their college goals.
The Summit, being coordinated by the U.S. Department of Education, was created in response to an initiative by President Barack Obama to raise the college completion rate in the United States. A recent study ranked the U.S. 12th in the world for college completion, a significant decline from the top spot once held here. While countries are seeing upwards of 60-70% of their students finish college, only a little more than 40% are currently doing so here in the U.S.
The President has made a pledge to make the U.S. the number one country in the world again for college completion by the year 2020, and as part of the pledge, has invited young people to the capitol city to hear their ideas on how to make this happen. Speakers – including our students from the Llano Grande Center – have been asked to share the innovative teaching and learning methods that have made their communities so successful.
As part of the trip, the students will be meeting with Llano Grande partner organizations including Chelsea, MA-based ROCA Inc.; Minneapolis-based Migizi Communications, Inc.; and Honolulu-based Hawai‘inuiÄkea School of Hawaiian Knowledge. These organizations represent sites that the Llano Grande Center has worked with before through initiatives with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Each organization is sending youth representatives who will also be participating in the National Youth Summit.
The teams will spend Thursday and Friday building relationships with each other, co-creating a presentation for the National Youth Summit, and visiting elected leaders at the U.S. Capitol before attending the Summit on Saturday.