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Latinos for Education

Designing a strategic growth plan to build up Latinx leadership in the education sector

Partner

Latinos for Education

Project

Designing a strategic growth plan to build up Latinx leadership in the education sector

Question

How does a start-up in the education sector progress from its initial growth phase to lift up the voices of Latinx leaders?

Summary

Challenge 

In the US, Latinx students currently represent 26% of all K-12 students and are projected to represent nearly one-third of these students by 2025. As reported by the United States Census Bureau, from 1996 to 2016, the number of Hispanic students enrolled in schools, colleges, and universities in the country doubled from 8.8 million to 17.9 million, showing that as the Latinx and Hispanic student population grows, so do their needs.

Latinos for Education is the first Latinx-founded national nonprofit dedicated to uplifting communities by placing Latinx leaders into positions of influence throughout the education sector, increasing Latinx representation on the boards of nonprofit educational entities, and creating leadership pathways for emerging Latinx individuals.

Latinos for Education believes that students benefit from having leaders with a shared experience and  more needs to be done to empower Latinx leaders to enter places of influence in the education sector. Educational equity will be achieved through a shared vision and deliberate collaboration. In doing so, the organization is intentionally cultivating Latinx leadership and purposely creating programs that will develop a pipeline of Latinx leaders that already exist but are currently untapped.

Overview 

Latinos for Education works to develop, place, and connect essential Latinx leaders in the education sector in order to better serve some of the communities most impacted by education inequity. The mission of this partner is unique in that it is the only national organization focused specifically on strengthening Latinx leadership in the education sector. 

Over the past three years, Latinos for Education has grown exponentially, both in terms of fundraising and staff members.  Since its initial founding, the organization has generated significant learning, developed an array of relationships, and seen shifts in the education sector it is operating in. After this initial phase of learning and growth, Latinos for Education arrived at a critical inflection in its evolution.

Root Cause’s role was to help contextualize the needs of Latinos for Education and assist them in designing a three-year strategic growth plan as well as solidifying their program model through this process. This work included assisting the organization in examining its work and impact to date, assessing the current state of Latinx education, examining the landscape of relevant efforts and identifying key gaps, taking a fresh look at and refining its Theory of Change model that connects to the organization’s work and its intended outcomes, and defining its unique focus and strategic approach for the years 2020-2022.

“Children benefit from having leaders with a shared experience, and we have to do more to empower Latino leaders to enter places of influence in the education sector. I'm passionate about Latinos for Education because the organization is intentionally cultivating Latino leadership and not leaving increasing diversity in education up to chance. We're purposely creating programs that will develop a pipeline of Latino leaders that already exists but is currently untapped.” - Andy Canales, executive director of Latinos for Education Greater Houston
“At Latinos for Education, we believe educational equity will be achieved through a shared vision and deliberate collaboration. We each have a role to play to ensure the voices of Latino students and families is heard and factored into decision-making in schools, communities and education institutions.” - Latinos for Education
“Each one of our members is extremely passionate about serving as a role model and investing their talent to represent and lift the next generation of Latinos and their overall communities. They are resilient, support each other, and work con ganas every day to make a difference in their organizations and the students they serve.” - Johana Muriel Grajales, Director of National Strategy & Innovation for Latinos for Education
“We aim to motivate those who haven’t yet imagined themselves leading through innovation and entrepreneurship to step into the sector with the support of organizations like Latinos for Education. We are also in the midst of a strategic planning process to examine our work and impact to date, ensure our programs stay relevant, and define our strategic approach for the next three years.” - Johana Muriel Grajales, Director of National Strategy & Innovation for Latinos for Education

Goals & Results

The 2020-2022 strategic plan phase was created to build on Latinos for Education’s initial phase of expanding the nonprofit’s program model and operational infrastructure, solidifying the organization’s presence in fields that overlap with Latinx education, and initiating the approach to geographic expansion through launching pipeline programs. 

As Latino students approach ⅓ of all public school students nationally in 2025, the next phase set Latinos for Education up for their next era of significant growth. Conducted over the course of 6 months, it consisted of a comprehensive set of methods. This included analyzing local, state and national education outcomes and leadership data, conducting a literature review of research and best practices in Latinx education, interviewing education justice and Latinx education experts and leaders, and reviewing feedback from participants in Latinos for Education’s own leadership programs. The evaluation also set to identify frameworks and models to outline elements of the program model and growth strategy. 

Phase I set to conduct an internal review and set a  hypothesis for the program model. A crucial step in this process was defining what “equitable education” looks like in terms of reducing barriers that most impact Latinx students. These obstacles are based on race, ethnicity, income, language, citizenship/immigration status, and neighborhood segregation. 

Goals within the program model include more equitable education in terms of reduced barriers, expanded support and opportunities, which serve to help students with higher academic achievement, college attainment, retention, and prosperity. 

Phase II of the growth strategy defined the most effective strategies to ensure and expand impact over the next three years and beyond. In addition to this, it outlined complementary growth avenues with ideal prioritization, balance, and how they work together. 

The next growth phase, set to take place between 2023 and 2025, will refine the program model, solidify and expand partnerships around Latino education field, accelerate geographic expansion, and strengthen their organizational infrastructure and sustainability model. 

News:

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About the Partner

Latinos for Education

Latinos for Education is the first national organization solely dedicated to advancing education across the United States by strengthening the environment for Latino students and leaders to succeed. An education-focused social venture start-up that was founded in 2016, its mission is to develop, place, and connect essential Latino leaders in the education sector. 
Their work centers on the belief that increasing the number of Latino leaders influencing the education sector will result in a more equitable education, higher academic achievement, and improved prosperity for Latino students and for the Latino community. To achieve this, the organization has embedded itself in local school districts, engaged community members, advocated for policy improvements, and supported more than 100 Latino education leaders to advance their careers and shift the conversation around Latinos in education.

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