Large-scale social problems such as the Latino education crisis our nation faces require what the Stanford Social Innovation Review recently called "collective impact" http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/colle ctive_impact- the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem. While there are countless organizations working today to ensure that Latino children are getting access to a quality education from Pre-K all the way to and through college, are we all focused on a common and collaborative path to achieving this vision?
At New Futuro and at Teach For America, we have been asking ourselves this question. What we've come to believe is that we must fundamentally transform how like minded organizations like us collaborate to help the Latino community. We must utilize all available resources in support of Latino children to truly elevate their voices and be the advocates they and their families so desperately deserve. We think we can collaborate in more meaningful ways, measure the success of our collective efforts and hold ourselves accountable as a community of supporters to ensure educational progress is made.
Teach For America and New Futuro have recently joined forces toward this aim. New Futuro is a socially innovative, Hispanic education community helping Latino families get their students into college and beyond. Built on a free, bilingual, "high-touch, high-tech" platform, New Futuro has created a robust community of Latino students and parents, non-profit organizations, education institutions, government agencies, and corporations to connect those that need help with those that provide it. The overall experience facilitates the process of navigating the educational system, leading to better outcomes for Latino Kids going to college.
Teach For America is the national corps of top recent college graduates and professionals who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity. Over 40% of the students and families Teach For America teachers reach are Latino.
We have come together because we recognized the interdependencies of each of our respective missions and the communities and partners with whom we work. New Futuro has valuable information and tools that the kids we teach and their families need in order to understand their path to college, get there and finish. Teach For America has corps members and alumni teaching Latino kids in schools across the nation. We connect the two and we connect one another to other potential collaborators.
Our Latino community is very interdependent, constantly interacting with faith-based organizations, youth organizations, government agencies and community based organizations as part of their daily lives. This landscape presents a tremendous opportunity for organizations that want to address the Latino education crisis. We will only produce collective impact through partnerships that recognize the inter-dependent nature of our community.
We know we aren't the only ones thinking about this and taking action in this way. We ask others who serve our Latino community to work toward building a collaborative community that is focused on the common goal of ensuring Latino children will get access to a quality education and the freedom of choice in pursuing their personal and professional aspirations. Join us in building a community that is committed to leveraging each other's resources, insights and expertise. Let's take ourselves from co-existing to actively collaborating by utilizing technology and the best collaboration models. Together we can create an ecosystem where all stakeholders drive student outcomes while collaborating in meaningful ways.
Elkin Arredondo is the VP of Partnerships at New Futuro
Amanda Fernandez is the VP of Latino Community Outreach at Teach For America
Follow Amanda Fernandez on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@amanfernan24