Faculty & Staff

Back to News & Events

Promoting Higher Education for Latino Youth: CFS Participates in Kellogg Foundation Initiative

On January 18, the Kellogg Foundation announced that eighteen colleges and universities will receive funding through their ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities for Education) initiative. Congratulations to USF, Hillsborough Community College, and the Hispanic Services Council for being selected as one of the 18 projects in phase one of the Foundation's six-year, 28.7 million initiative.

ENLACE is derived from the Spanish word enlazar, which means "to link or weave together". The three key components of ENLACE are a common vision of a brighter future for Latino youth, collaborative work in coalitions, and a focus on strengthening public school/university/community partnerships.

"ENLACE will strengthen the educational pipeline, so that more Hispanic youth will enter and complete college," said Betty Overton-Adkins, the Kellogg Foundation's director of higher education programming. "And, it can improve the performance of students who are already attending Hispanic-serving institutions."

The Hillsborough County ENLACE Coalition consists of representatives from local community organizations, businesses and schools from the Leto, East Bay and Plant City areas, which include high Hispanic enrollment rates. During the initial planning phase, the coalition will collaborate to identify needs and priorities for increasing the number of Hispanic students who successfully progress through the K-12 schools and continue on to higher education, including graduate education.

USF will serve as fiscal agent for the ENLACE project with USF Vice Provost Catherine Batsche as Principal Investigator. A project director will be hired and will manage the project to be based in the offices of the Hispanic Services Council.

The evaluation will be conducted by CFS staff who have a long track record of both evaluation experience and community collaboration. Mario Hernandez will serve as Evaluation Director and Kristen Snyder will serve as the project's MIS Enrollment Facilitator. Both will donate their time to this project.

The evaluation will include using both quantitative data to provide information about current enrollment of Latino populations, and qualitative data to describe the community's needs and issues, as well as assessing the developmental progress of the initiative. Formal mid-year and final reports will be provided to the Kellogg Foundation.

"Through previous research, such as the Latino Drop-Out Study conducted within our division," stated Mario, "we see that Hispanic participation decreases at critical transition points in the educational process. The Hillsborough County ENLACE Coalition will address these issues by engaging our educational institutions more effectively within the community."

During this initial phase, each project will receive funding of up to $100,000. In addition, the Hillsborough County Coalition has also received funding commitments from the community partners. Phase Two of ENLACE, scheduled to begin in 2001, will provide grants of up to $2 million each for eight to ten of the coalitions. For additional information, contact Mario Hernandez at 974-4651.

The Department of Child and Family Studies (CFS) is a department of the Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida. The faculty and staff of CFS are committed to enhancing the development, mental health and well-being of children and families through leadership in integrating research, theory & practice.

Share this page