College Access Para Todos: Sustaining the Latin American Coalition’s Efforts
to Connect Latino Immigrant Youth to Higher Education
In December 2015, College Access Para Todos, a youth-led initiative to equip Latino immigrant students in Charlotte with the knowledge, skills, networks, and resources needed to effectively navigate the college readiness and college application processes, was discontinued. Eight months later, under the leadership of a new Executive Director, regular and ongoing requests for college preparation assistance from Latino immigrant families in the area inspired the Coalition to consider reviving the program. However, due to miscommunication among incoming and outgoing staff throughout the Executive Director’s transition to the organization, the Coalition was left with a strong desire to support local students but a lack of clarity around why the program had been discontinued and whether it should return. Inspired by this dilemma, “College Access Para Todos: Sustaining the Latin American Coalition’s Efforts to Connect Latino Immigrant Youth to Higher Education” investigates the causes and consequences of the discontinuation of the College Access Para Todos program through analysis of semi-structured interviews with ten key stakeholders including current and former staff and volunteers, former program participants, parents of former program participants, and a program officer at a local foundation. The report then uses the concept of Social Capital Theory to interpret key findings and substantiate recommendations for the consideration of a revision and renewal of the College Access Para Todos program. These findings and recommendations reveal how the Latin American Coalition and similar organizations and initiatives can best support Latino immigrant students in their journey toward higher education. The report was produced in partial fulfillment of the course requirements for a Senior Capstone project in the Education and Community Studies major at Davidson College in collaboration with the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte.