Last month, President Obama announced the initiative My Brother’s Keeper, a campaign geared to offer opportunities for boys and young men of color to fulfill their full potential and avoid falling into harm’s way. Organizations throughout the U.S. have taken advantage of the Presidents calling to expand their outreach to Latino boys and young men.
“We feel that, working through these initiatives, young Latino males in our community will find a place to go for a second chance, to regroup, recover, and refocus,” said Carlos Graupera, President and CEO of the Spanish American Civic Association (SACA), a group committed to the empowerment of the Latino community through a self-help and self-development approach.
Many experts believe that the biggest challenge Latino males have is the pressure to work and become a source of income for their family at an early age. This creates a dilemma where they either see their school production drop due to lack of time for homework or sleep, or even worse, it gives them incentive to drop out of school entirely.
With help from funding that supports the President’s initiative, SACA has developed Tec Centro, a bilingual technology center that works with out-of-school youth and students who want to pursue a career in the technology field. Programs like Tec Centro will not only allow Latino males an opportunity to have a legitimate chance to succeed with their careers, but it will produce well-trained workers that can be a valuable asset to any company or organization.
“The success of boys of color is contingent upon access to good schools, supportive adult mentors, and access to good jobs,” said NYU’s Pedro Noguera.
This article originally appeared in Latinovations.