Honoring Rick Archuletta

Rick Archuletta

Rick Archuletta

High School Social Studies

Fountain, CO

In 2004, Rick Archuletta started his career as a secondary educator at Fountain-Ft. Carson High School in Fountain, Colorado, teaching Special Education and after four years he moved to the Social Studies department where he teaches advanced United States History, American Government, and Psychology.  Mr. Archuletta has also worked as an adjunct professor of Chicano Studies at Colorado State University-Pueblo, specifically teaching the Voices of Protest course, in which the history of people of color in the United States and the state of Colorado are highlighted along with social movements that stem from differences in race, class, and gender.  Prior to working as an educator, Mr. Archuletta graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota with degrees in both Special Education and History.  He continued his education and earned a Master of Arts degree from Colorado State University-Pueblo in United States History following the successful defense of his thesis, “Reclaiming Aztlan:  Southern Colorado and Chicano Activism of the 1970s”.  Mr. Archuletta has presented original research on both labor and community activism in Colorado during the Chicano movement at the Annual Conference of the Western History Association and at the Society for the Interdisciplinary Study of Social Imagery Conference.

Why do you teach?

To me, teaching is a way to make an impact and give back to our community.  Because I teach in a school district with a diverse student population, I believe it is important that students have diverse role models and if I can serve as an example for at least one student, then I have made a positive contribution.

What do you love about teaching?

I love the everyday interaction with students.  I love the challenge and excitement that comes with building an atmosphere in which students feel like they are an integral part of a team and that their ideas matter.  It is exciting to see students engaging with the content and each other in such a way that allows them to connect with their learning.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?

I had many wonderful teachers while attending school. However, I was inspired to teach after taking a mentoring class during my junior year of high school.  For this particular class, I was paired alongside a student with disabilities and I worked with them in a general education course.  I enjoyed the work so much that I signed up for the class again as a senior and afterwards, decided that I wanted to become a teacher.  While attending college at Dakota Wesleyan University, Dr. Sylvia Street and Prof. Kevin Lein had a great impact in shaping me as an educator and providing me the tools to be successful in the classroom.

Honoring Deisy Leija


Deisy Leija

Elementary Bilingual Teacher

Baytown, Texas

Deisy Leija, a native of San Antonio, Texas, is a first-generation graduate. Both of her parents are immigrants from Monterrey, Mexico. Growing up, her parents always instilled in her the importance of getting an education and as the oldest of five siblings, she believed it was her responsibility to set a good example.

Growing up, her family lived in the small town of Valparaiso, Florida. It was difficult going to school for her because she was limited in her English language and the community where she lived, did not understand Spanish. It was a challenge for her on a daily basis – not knowing what was going on or what was being taught in the classroom. She had to rely on a Spanish/English dictionary in order to partially understand. This experience inspired her to pursue her career in bilingual education.

Mrs. Leija achieved her dream of becoming a teacher after she graduated from Texas State University with a Bilingual Education Degree. This will be her third year of teaching 5th Grade Reading/Language Arts and Social Studies at Crockett Elementary in Baytown, Texas. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Counseling at Lamar University and hopes to continue making a positive impact on children’s lives as a school counselor.

Why do you teach?

Having to learn the English language was a struggle for me and living in a community that did not know Spanish, made it very difficult to learn the new language. I teach because I want to be the teacher that facilitates learning for my students – especially for my English Language Learners. I find teaching to be very rewarding when I see kids progressing academically. I teach to inspire, encourage and motivate my students so that they too can be successful in their future endeavors.

What do you love about teaching?

The thing I love the most about teaching is seeing my students grow academically. I love seeing how excited they get when we are learning about a topic that interests them. Teaching is something I look forward to on a daily basis and it makes me happy knowing that I am making a difference.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?

Mrs. Garza is the most influential teacher in my life. Mrs. Garza was my fifth grade teacher and she always went above and beyond to help me when I was struggling. She would stay after school with me just to help me with my reading. She never gave up on me and I didn’t give up on myself because of how much she believed in me.

Honoring Marlene Cabrera


Marlene Cabrera

Curriculum Support Specialist

Miami, FL

As a young child, Marlene Cabrera and her family immigrated to the United States leaving behind family and memories of their beloved Cuba. Growing up in Chicago and being the only Hispanic in a primarily Polish neighborhood was difficult but her parents instilled in her the desire to have a better life in a free and democratic country. This responsibility, to be the first to graduate and receive an education, became her driving force to succeed. The shiny bowling trophies her elementary teacher held up to the class as a reward for academic excellence became her second inspiration. Ms. Cabrera had never seen anything so precious and special in her young life. During her teen years, her family moved to Miami, where she found a community that reintroduced her to her Cuban heritage and culture.

As an educator, Ms. Cabrera had the privilege of teaching several subject in the secondary environment: English, Journalism, Art, Drama, ESOL, Reading, and AP Language & Composition. She earned a Masters in Reading and National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) certification in Adolescent/Young Adult English Language Arts. She served several years as a Reading Coach liaison at Terra Environmental Research Institute, a magnet school in MDCPS. She had the privilege to work for The Florida Literacy and Reading Excellence (FLaRe) Program grant at the University of Central Florida sponsored by the Just Read, Florida Office. As a FLaRe Coordinator, Ms. Cabrera worked with literacy professionals from various districts and presented literacy workshops statewide while providing support to Reading Coaches in the Miami-Dade County area. As a FLaRE Coordinator, she served as an expert commentator on LEaRN, a reading literacy website. Ms. Cabrera’s multiple certifications in Gifted Education, English, ESOL, Art and Reading have provided her the avenue in which to be able to reach many Hispanic students at different language levels.

Currently, Ms. Cabrera is the Curriculum Support Specialist for the Department of Bilingual and World Languages for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Along with a team of highly qualified professions from the department, they presented at NABE and will continue to present best practices for their ESOL students as the district continues to adapt the WIDA standards. In addition, she is a trainer for the ESOL and Reading Endorsements for Miami-Dade County Public Schools and for Beaconeducator.com. As an Adjunct for Miami Dade College, Ms. Cabrera has also had the opportunity to assist students of various ages reach their dream of a college education by teaching remedial courses for the College Prep Department.

Why do you teach?

I teach because I love to share my passion for learning. I remember telling my mother after my Masters degrees that I was done with learning and school. She shrugged and smiled. Five years later, I was applying for National Boards certification. Learning is fun! If I could share this passion with others and transfer this joy to multitudes of children, then the world would be a much better place. I also teach because I feel that to maintain a democracy its citizens must be properly educated and well informed. The future of this great democracy lies on the education of our children.

What do you love about teaching?

I love being creative and inspiring the magic that happens when you learn. I love developing thematic units around big ideas such as gender roles, multicultural education, civil responsibilities, and personal identity. I love being there for newly arrived English Language Learners (ELLs) and helping them make the language and cultural transition. I love teaching and believing with a strong sense of efficacy that ELLs are capable of achieving great heights if given a rigorous and appropriate education.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?

As a student at Frank W. Reilly K-8 in Chicago, I was blessed to have had amazing educators who inspired me to learn and grow. Every teacher added to my intellectual growth and artistic development. I was allowed to help teachers design bulletin boards, enter Science Fairs, and learn English. At Madonna High School, I learned about religion, spirituality, and camaraderie. At Miami Coral Park, I met Dr, Moore who welcomed me with a thoughtful daily quote and taught me to love literature as a critical independent thinker. Although stoic and stern, he was approachable and provided me with advice that turned my high school graduation day into a successful family encounter.

Teachers Advocate for Removal of Barriers and Fear for Undocumented Students

This was crossposted from the U.S. Department of Education blog, Homeroom


Dominguez with students in her classroom. (Photo courtesy Alice Dominguez)

Dominguez with students in her classroom. (Photo courtesy Alice Dominguez)

Two words dominated the conversation at ED’s Tea with Teachers last week on the topic of supporting undocumented students: fear and hope. Educators balanced their concerns for their undocumented and mixed-status students, while acknowledging the hope that they ultimately deserve. During the tea, I couldn’t help but think of the student from my school district, who was sitting in a jail cell rather than a classroom, feeling those same emotions.

Wildin David Guillen Acosta was taken from his front yard on his way to his Durham, N.C., school in January, while his mother watched helplessly from their home. He would later join nine other students from North Carolina and Georgia whose parents and classmates also witnessed their arrests from bus stops, homes, and neighborhoods. While The Department of Homeland Security has designated schools with sanctuary status, teachers across the Southeast are arguing that ICE raids are threatening our students’ daily lives as their justifiable anxieties are occupying what could otherwise be devoted to their academic pursuits.

Teachers nodded in unison as we heard testimonials of students and family members who were taken from us by ICE or who suffer from PTSD from the threats that ICE raids pose. We questioned how we can engage our biggest allies, our students’ families, when schools serve as an intimidating environment. As César Moreno Pérez of the American Federation of Teachers stated at the tea, ICE raids are, “eroding the hope that educators worked so hard to build” in immigrant communities across our nation.

The threat of deportations is just the beginning of an undocumented student’s concerns. Teachers shared frustration with the barriers that are created as a result of misinformation, particularly post-secondary financial barriers. Secretary King acknowledged that some states are more committed to supporting our undocumented students’ collegiate goals, and this is certainly the case for me, as I noted that my former students in Colorado attend college with in-state tuition, while my current students in North Carolina have found limited options when searching for scholarships and financial aid.

Most notably, it is not just students who are vulnerable to the instability of our complex immigration system. A teacher with DACA status spoke of the important role that DACA qualifying teachers can play in inspiring students, yet this important role remains unstable as we wait for the results of the most recent Supreme Court case and next election. Since DACA is an executive order, the next President could remove it, making this teacher and others like her ineligible to do exactly what they feel called to do — show their own undocumented students that their dream career is within reach.

I left this tea once again with Wildin on my mind and an inbox full of resources from other teachers. It’s always inspiring to meet teacher leaders from across the country, and in this case, I feel more supported knowing they’re committed to empowering our students in the face of the barriers imposed on them.

Alice Dominguez is an English teacher at J.D. Clement Early College High School in Durham, North Carolina, and a founding member of a recently developed caucus to support undocumented students within the Durham Association of Educators. She previously taught in Las Vegas and Denver.

Honoring Michelle Sánchez

Michelle Sánchez

Special Education Teacher

Los Angeles, CA

Michelle Sánchez is a Special Education Teacher at Eagle Rock Junior/Senior High School, the only grade 7-12 school in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). In this role, she works with High Functioning Autistic students, creating individualized educational plans to help students develop non-cognitive skills in social communication, executive functioning, and behavioral self-management. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Sánchez serves as an Assistant Coach for Cross Country and for Track and Field.

Prior to joining the faculty at Eagle Rock, Ms. Sánchez spent four years with the Boston Public Schools.  She taught eighth grade English and History at Gardner Pilot Academy, a full-inclusion K-8 school that is further distinguished as one of 21 pilot schools within the district. In addition to teaching, Ms. Sánchez also served as the school’s Media and Technology Specialist. In this role, she supported teachers with integrating technology into curriculum, advised students as they launched the school’s first newspaper and yearbook publications, and empowered families through English and Spanish language instruction in computer literacy with the Technology Goes Home organization. Drawing on these experiences, Ms. Sánchez has presented on family and community engagement strategies at Boston College’s New Teacher Academy Conference and on technology integration methods at Harvard University’s LearnLaunch15 Conference.  Her passion for education began as a teacher’s assistant at Dickinson College Children’s Center and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese. Ms. Sanchez also had the opportunity of serving middle school students in Sacramento, CA through the Breakthrough Collaborative summer teaching fellowship.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Michelle Sánchez is the proud daughter of Mexican and Costa Rican immigrants. She attended LAUSD public schools, graduating from Eagle Rock Junior/Senior High School as a Posse Foundation Scholar. A first-generation college graduate, Ms. Sánchez earned her B.A. in American Studies and Spanish at Dickinson College. She completed the Breakthrough Collaborative summer teaching fellowship in Sacramento, CA and went on to complete her M.Ed. in Secondary Education History at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education as a Donovan Urban Teaching Scholar.

What do you love about teaching?

Teaching enables me to work with students of all backgrounds and ability levels, and I strive to inspire all of my students to fully embrace their potential, to set high and ambitious goals, and to work toward those goals with confidence.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?

I was fortunate to have many dedicated teachers—such as Ms. Ngo, Ms. Lynch, Mr. Oswald, Mr. Beaty— who  cultivated my curiosity for learning, who showed patience and compassion on my bad days, and who gave me the confidence to reach the finish line. I am honored to return to Eagle Rock to teach alongside many of my former teachers, and I like to think that I may also have a few future teachers in my classroom.

Why do you teach?

I teach to help my students become aware of their strengths and interests so that they can ultimately find their voice.


Rosalita Santiago


Rosalita Santiago

First Grade Math and Spanish Language Arts Teacher

Arlington, Virginia

Rosalita Santiago has twelve years of experience in education, teaching kindergarten, first grade, seventh grade, and high school. She is a first grade Math & Spanish Language Arts teacher at Claremont Immersion School in Arlington, Virginia.Rosalita joined the community of Claremont Immersion School in 2014. She is a mentor to a first-year Latino teacher and a teacher leader for her schools pilot program Discovery Education/Digital Learning School.

Her professional experience includes being a lead mentor, a Kindergarten and World language In-service facilitator, a world language curriculum developer, and an ECO school representative. Rosalita is an active participant of her professional learning community. She loves learning as well as collaborating with her peers. She is currently working with her school ITC, Wilmarie Clark, and is starting a new coding club at her school this spring. Her goal is to increase student access and exposure to computer science education through after-school programs. Rosalita graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a B.A., English Secondary level. She earned an M.A., K-12 Technology Integration from Nova Southeastern University. She also obtained M.Ed., P.K.-6 Elementary Education from Marymount University.

Why do you teach?

It is fun and challenging. I enjoy working with children and providing them with opportunities for them to explore, discover, and learn independently and collaboratively through a variety of learning experiences. It is a rewarding career.

What do you love about teaching?

I love all aspects of teaching. It is a dynamic profession! It is an amazing experience to be able to not only plan, create, and deliver learning opportunities for the students, but to learn from students as they immerse themselves in the learning process.

When you were a student, was there a great teacher who inspired you?

In my early educational years I would have been considered a transient student. My family moved many times between Puerto Rico and New Jersey as well as within New Jersey. I cannot recall a time I felt unwelcomed as I started a new school or returned to my previous school. My teachers were always kind, respectful, and understanding. They made sure I was learning and being challenge. In addition, they also taught my mom how to support me at home in completing homework assignments. I am not able to name a specific teacher, as I was lucky to have a great support system not only at my school but at home. My mom and my older sister were always available to answer my questions and provide support as needed. It is an honor for me to say that all of the teachers that taught me and my family inspired me to be driven and a lifelong learner.

The 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is Here!

Cross-posted from the Let’s Move! Blog

It’s that time of year again – we’re inviting kids across the country to create healthy lunch recipes for a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C., and the opportunity to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House!

Check out a special message from First Lady Michelle Obama announcing the fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge:

The First Lady is once again teaming up with PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host the fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge to promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation.

The challenge invites kids ages 8-12, in collaboration with a parent or guardian, to create an original recipe that is healthy, affordable, and delicious. One winner from each U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia will win the opportunity to be flown to Washington, DC and the opportunity to attend the 2016 Kids’ “State Dinner” here at the White House, where a selection of the winning recipes will be served. Kids will also have the opportunity to learn from television personality and member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Rachael Ray.

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks in the East Room at the 2015 Kids’ “State Dinner.” (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks in the East Room at the 2015 Kids’ “State Dinner.” (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Check out USDA’s MyPlate to ensure your child’s recipe meets the nutrition guidelines by representing each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy. In addition, in celebration of the MyPlate, MyState initiative, the 2016 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge is putting a spotlight on homegrown pride across the country and encouraging entries to include local ingredients grown in your family’s state, territory, or community.

We can’t wait to see what kids create this year – so good luck and get cooking! Don’t forget to submit by April 4!

Learn more:

Kelly Miterko is Deputy Director of Let’s Move!

Socioeconomic Diversity as a School Turnaround Strategy

This was crossposted from the U.S. Department of Education blog, Homeroom


The world that we’re preparing our kids for is diverse—our workplaces and our society reflect an enormous range of backgrounds and experiences. Succeeding in that world requires having had the experience of diversity in its many forms, particularly socioeconomic diversity. Mounting evidence shows that diversity is a clear path to better outcomes in school and in life. Exposure to other students from a wide array of backgrounds can boost empathy, reduce bias and increase group problem-solving skills. In short, it helps prepare students – regardless of their backgrounds – for the world in which they will live and work.

Socioeconomically diverse schools are especially powerful for students from low-income families, who historically have not had equal access to the resources they need to succeed. For example, in Montgomery County, Maryland, children in public housing who attended the district’s most advantaged elementary schools performed better over time than those attending higher-poverty schools, despite additional per-student funding provided at higher-poverty schools.

Given what we know about the benefits of diversity, we are interested in exploring how the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program can be used to promote voluntary, community-supported efforts to expand socioeconomic diversity in schools and improve student outcomes. These grants are awarded to states that then make competitive subgrants to school districts that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to raising student achievement in their lowest-performing schools.


Join the conversation

We welcome your input on how we can support school districts or consortia of districts, with support from their states and local communities, to use SIG funds to implement socioeconomic diversity strategies.

We are interested in your thoughts on the use of SIG funds, including your views on the following:

  1. The use of SIG funds to support district-wide socioeconomic diversity strategies aimed at increasing academic outcomes for students in lowest performing schools.
  1. Current SIG requirements for states and districts that may restrict the use SIG funds to increase the socioeconomic diversity of schools, if any.
  2. Other policies or conditions (e.g., high concentrations of students in poverty, strong community and stakeholder engagement, written assurances from effected districts and schools) that need to be in place for districts to successfully implement a comprehensive socioeconomic diversity plan that increase academic outcomes for students in its lowest performing schools.
  1. Methods and measures states and districts could use to demonstrate progress in implementing a comprehensive socioeconomic diversity plan.

We welcome your input until April 12. If you have any comments please send them via email to SIG.StrongerTogether@ed.gov.

Meet John King, Acting Secretary of Education

This was crossposted from the U.S. Department of Education blog, Homeroom


Every New Year offers the chance for each of us to set new personal goals to make us healthier, happier, or more productive. In 2016, I hope you’ll join me as I recommit myself to ensuring that every child in America—regardless of background or circumstance—has access to an excellent education.

I’m honored and humbled by the opportunity President Obama has given me to build on the many accomplishments he and my friend Arne Duncan have achieved over the past seven years.

Education always has been a focal point in my life—both my parents were New York City public school educators. My father was a teacher and a principal. My mother was a teacher and guidance counselor. When I was 8, my mother passed away.  I then lived with my father who was suffering from undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease and passed away when I was 12.

After that, I moved around between family members and schools. Home was an unpredictable and often scary place. But school, and the remarkable teachers who believed in my potential, offered me a safe haven. Because of them, I went on to become a high school social studies teacher, a middle school principal, and a state education commissioner—and now I have the tremendous privilege to serve you in this new role.

Watch a short video introduction from John King (Español)

Over the past seven years, we’ve made a lot of progress. More students than ever are being taught to college- and career-ready standards; dropout rates are at historic lows and graduation rates at all-time highs; and high quality preschool and higher education are within reach for more families.

But there is a lot more work to do. Our efforts in 2016 must be measured by the progress we make toward educational opportunity for all—so that no child’s fate is left to luck, no student’s destiny defined by circumstances.

In the weeks to come, I’ll be traveling across the country to visit with folks like you—students, parents, teachers, principals and community leaders—to highlight what’s working and hear about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

I’ll also be asking you to help us accelerate progress in more classrooms.

In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter @JohnKingatED and ask me a question anytime using #AskJohnKing. Here’s wishing you a wonderful New Year!

John King is the Acting Secretary of Education

Una oportunidad para todos; por qué El Guardián de mi Hermano (My Brother’s Keeper) es de vital importancia para la juventud hispana

Para leer el blog, haga clic AQUÍ

Por: Marco Davis, Director Adjunto de la Iniciativa de la Casa Blanca sobre la Excelencia Educativa para los Hispanos y Michael Smith, Asistente Especial al Presidente y Director Jefe de Asuntos del Gabinete para El guardián de mi hermano (My Brother’s Keeper)

El 28 de septiembre, en honor del Mes de la Herencia Hispana, la Casa Blanca mostró la versión en español del documental de Discovery “Rise: the Promise of My Brother’s Keeper”, que se presentó este mes en el canal Discovery en Español como “El guardián de mi Hermano” (My Brother’s Keeper). El documental lleva a los espectadores en un viaje inspirador por cuatro de los miles de programas de todo el país que son testigo de los principios de la iniciativa de El Guardián de mi Hermano (MBK, por sus siglas en inglés), la llamada de acción del Presidente Obama a la nación para hacer frente a las lagunas de oportunidad que siguen existiendo para los chicos y jóvenes de minorías y garantizar que todas las personas jóvenes puedan alcanzar su máximo potencial.

Después de la proyección, Enrique Santos, celebridad de televisión y radio, presidió en un panel de debate sobre el impacto de MBK en los jóvenes hispanos, y del papel importante que cumple este programa para ayudar a la gente joven en comunidades desatendidas. Junto a Santos se encontraba la concejal de Phoenix, Arizona, Kate Gallego, el Reverendo Gabriel Salgado, el líder de YouthBuild Brandon Menjares, Melanca Clark, Jefe de Gabinete de la Oficina de Servicios Policiales Enfocados en la Comunidad del Departamento de Justicia, y Michael Smith, el Director Jefe de Asuntos del Gabinete de la Casa Blanca para El Guardián de mi Hermano.

Brandon Menjares habló sobre su lucha personal como joven de minorías, que fue adoptado como recién nacido por una familia puertorriqueña y que trágicamente perdió a ambos padres adoptivos al llegar a la adolescencia. Sin esperanzas ni mucha ayuda de nadie, Brandon dejó la escuela y se vio en caída libre, víctima de su entorno violento y con un sentimiento paralizante de abandono. Brandon hace referencia a YouthBuild como “un cambio rotundo”, y gracias a su apoyo consiguió obtener su diploma de la escuela secundaria y terminar el colegio comunitario. Brandon ahora goza de un empleo fijo y hace charlas motivadoras para miles de jóvenes del país. Es un gran ejemplo de cómo con los recursos y oportunidades adecuados, cualquier persona joven puede superar sus circunstancias y convertirse en un miembro valioso de la sociedad.

El panel ofreció un debate animado sobre los retos a los que se enfrenta la juventud hispana y de cómo el gobierno federal puede colaborar con gobiernos estatales y locales, organizaciones privadas, académicos y la policía para fomentar la misión de MBK. El Reverendo Salguero puso énfasis en la importancia de dialogar con la comunidad religiosa para crear lugares seguros para los jóvenes en riesgo, o como describió el Reverendo Salguero, los jóvenes “en promesa”, y ofrecerles alternativas viables para salir de la pobreza y la violencia que les den la fuerza para embarcarse en un viaje de éxito. La Concejal Gallego habló sobre porqué Phoenix aceptó el reto comunitario de MBK del Presidente y cómo está trabajando con el alcalde para emplear las asociaciones locales y federales para ofrecer oportunidades para todos los jóvenes de Phoenix.

Según la Oficina del Censo de EE.UU., los chicos y hombres jóvenes de origen hispano son el grupo más grande y más jóven de todos los jóvenes de minorías, con aproximadamente 7.3 millones de varones hispanos entre las edades de 10 y 24. No obstante, aún existen lagunas de desempeño importantes en algunas áreas clave. El Departamento de Educación de EE.UU. encontró que las tasas de graduación para los varones hispanos inscritos en la universidad por primera vez a tiempo completo en instituciones de 4 años y cursando licenciaturas eran mucho más bajas que las de varones blancos; un 46 % frente a un 69 %.

Desde que el Presidente lanzó El Guardián de mi Hermano en febrero de 2014, más de 200 comunidades han aceptado el reto comunitario de El Guardián de mi Hermano; un gran número de corporaciones y fundaciones se han comprometido a invertir más de $500 millones para empujar los objetivos de El Guardián de mi Hermano; y la Fuerza de Trabajo de MBK ha anunciado docenas de iniciativas de políticas nuevas, programas de becas y asesoramiento. Todo ello para ayudar a expandir las oportunidades para nuestros hijos y garantizar que sepan que son importantes.

El Guardián de mi Hermano y las miles de organizaciones basadas en la evidencia que trabajan para expandir las oportunidades para nuestros hijos, son de vital importancia para el bienestar de millones de jóvenes marginados y desconectados, que incluye a chicos y jóvenes de minorías. Todos se merecen una segunda oportunidad y lo único que separa a estos jóvenes de sus pares es la oportunidad: El guardián de mi hermano y sus aliados se comprometen a cerrar las lagunas y asegurar que Estados Unidos continúe siendo un lugar donde cualquiera puede triunfar si lo intenta.

Para más información sobre cómo puede participar, puede visitar wh.gov/mybrotherskeeper


A Fighting Chance for All – Why My Brother’s Keeper is Crucial for Hispanic Youth

By: Marco Davis, Deputy Director of the WH Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and Michael Smith, Special Assistant to the President & Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for My Brother’s Keeper

On September 28, in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the White House screened the Spanish-language version of Discovery’s documentary “Rise: the Promise of My Brother’s Keeper,” which was released earlier this month on Discovery en Español as “El Guardián de mi Hermano” (My Brother’s Keeper). The film takes viewers on an inspiring journey into four of the thousands of programs around the country that are living the principles of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative — President Obama’s call to the nation to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

After the screening, TV/Radio personality Enrique Santos hosted a panel discussion on the impact of MBK for Hispanic youth, and the important role this effort plays to assist young people in underserved communities. Joining Santos were Phoenix, AZ Councilwoman Kate Gallego, Reverend Gabriel Salgado, YouthBuild leader Brandon Menjares, Melanca Clark, Chief of Staff for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at DOJ, and Michael Smith, White House Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs for My Brother’s Keeper.

Brandon Menjares spoke on his personal struggles as a young man of color – being adopted by a Puerto Rican family as a newborn, and tragically losing both of his adoptive parents by the time he was teenager. Hopeless and without much guidance, Brandon dropped out of school and found himself in a downward spiral – a victim of his violent surroundings and with a paralyzing feeling of abandonment. Brandon attributes YouthBuild as being “life changing,” and through their support was able to obtain his GED and complete community college. Today, Brandon is gainfully employed and serves as a motivational speaker to thousands of young people across the nation, and is a proud example that with the right resources and opportunities, any young person can overcome their circumstances and become a valuable member of society.

The panel offered a lively discussion on the challenges faced by Hispanic youth, and how the federal government can work with state and local governments, private organizations, academia and law enforcement to further MBK’s mission. Rev. Salguero emphasized the importance of engaging the faith community to create safe spaces for at-risk youth – or as Reverend Salguero described “at-promise” youth, offer them viable alternatives that lifts them from poverty and violence, and empowers them to embark in a journey of success. Councilwoman Gallego spoke about why Phoenix took on the President’s MBK community challenge and how she is working with the mayor to leverage local and federal partnerships to provide opportunities for all youth in Phoenix.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic boys and young men are the largest, youngest group of all young men of color, with an estimated 7.3 million Hispanic males between ages of 10 and 24. However, there are still significant performance gaps in key areas. The U.S. Dept. of Education found that graduation rates for Hispanic males attending college for the first time, on a full-time basis at a 4-year institution, and seeking bachelor’s degrees were substantially lower than for white males – 46% versus 69%.

Since the President launched My Brother’s Keeper in February 2014, more than 200 Communities have accepted the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge; scores of corporations and foundations have committed to invest more than $500 million to advance the goals of My Brother’s Keeper; and the MBK Task Force has announced dozens of new policy initiatives, grant programs and guidance – all working to expand opportunity for our kids and ensure they know they matter.

My Brother’s Keeper, and the thousands of evidence-based organizations working to expand opportunity for our kids, are critical to the wellbeing of millions of marginalized and disconnected young people, including boys and young men of color. Everybody deserves a second a chance, and the only thing that separates these youth from their peers is opportunity: My Brother’s Keeper and its allies are committed to bridging that gap and making sure America remains a place where you can make it if you try.

For more information on how you can be involved, please visit wh.gov/mybrotherskeeper.