The Michigan Hispanic Collaborative (MIHC) in Detroit today launched its initial campaign, La Próxima Generación (The Next Generation), which seeks to close the academic and professional achievement gap experienced by young Latino students.
The nonprofit organization will work collaboratively with area leaders and schools to provide a strong network of resources and support to students and their families. The announcement was made by Lawrence Garcia, corporate counsel of Detroit; JoAnn Chavez, chief tax officer for DTE Energy; and Alma Crossley, director for corporate diversity at General Motors Co.
Anita I. Martínez, former community impact director of financial stability and wealth building at United Way for Southeastern Michigan, was announced as MIHC executive director. At United Way, Martínez oversaw program development and innovation for a portfolio of agencies in the Economic Prosperity focus area, developing deep networks throughout metro Detroit around workforce and economic development.
At MIHC, Martínez will establish and leverage a strong network of partnerships to put in place models that latest evidence and research indicates improve Hispanic academic and employment success.
“Anita is an experienced leader with a proven track record of success,” says Garcia, president of MIHC. “We are excited to have her leadership on such an important program. The Próx Gen program demonstrates the increasing sophistication and conscientiousness of area Hispanics. We are getting better at addressing larger problems and at accessing the American middle class.”
Hispanics are a fast-growing group in the United States and outpace other groups in entrepreneurship and business establishment. But a stubborn academic completion gap remains. Nationally, 67.1 percent of Hispanics finish high school and 15.3 percent finish college. In Detroit, the rates are 52.7 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively.
“I am humbled and honored to continue to build upon my community economic development experiences to support a gap and coordination of services for the growing Hispanic population,” Martínez says. “As a native Detroiter, and a life-long advocate for common sense programming, I look forward to forging new local and national partnerships to support the La Próxima Generación program.”
La Próxima Generación will provide focused, and customized student and family assistance to opportunity students to encourage completion of high school and college degrees, Martínez adds. The program will launch in Detroit and then expand to additional high schools in the region with significant Hispanic student populations.
Long term, MIHC plans to grow and adapt La Próxima Generación programing in national markets with high concentrations of Hispanic students.
Próx Gen will work to provide students with several resources, including:
· ACT/SAT Preparation
· Academic, professional, and mentorship enrichment
· Bilingual services â€‹
· College and career boot camps
· College counseling and mentorship (College students)
·. College summer program experiences (HS students)
· Corporate internships
· Custom programming based on market needsâ€‹ (HS students and parents)
· Financial education
· Social and cultural growth experiences
· Supportive services
· Technology in the form of an online support portal
Visit www.michiganhispaniccollaborative.com for more information.