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Latino Daily News

Saturday June 25, 2011

DREAM ACT Call to Action by Jose Antonio Vargas garners Mentoring Challenge

DREAM ACT Call to Action by Jose Antonio Vargas garners Mentoring Challenge

Photo: Jose Antonio Vargas

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Urgent, national challenge to address Latino educational attainment deficit ties directly to need for passage of the DREAM Act; call to action for an educated America to return to number one spot by 2020 requires DREAMers to become college graduates too; Olga Milan-Howells, real-estate developer of San Francisco heeds call

After hearing the shocking news of Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas’ coming out about his immigration status, California author and entrepreneur Graciela Tiscareño-Sato decided to push her call for the “Two by 2020 Mentoring Challenge” harder than ever.  The challenge asks college-educated Americans to commit to mentoring two young people for the next nine years, with a special focus on Latino youth. This includes assisting a high school or college dropout you may know to complete their education.

Why the urgency? By 2020, America needs 36 million new college graduates to become the most educated nation on Earth; because of rapid population growth, 5.5 million of those degrees must come from the Latino community—611,000 per year. This means America needs Latino high school students, including those that are DREAMers, to also graduate from college.  “Active, intentional, long-term mentoring is the only way that a kid like me, the first in my family to graduate from college, can have a success story today,” states Graciela. “What America needs now is a wake-up call and a mentoring acceleration program, with a place to share success stories that will be produced as a direct result of the Two by 2020 Mentoring Challenge.”

Olga Milan-Howells heard Tiscareño-Sato, Founder of Gracefully Global Group, speak at the recent Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Summit at Stanford University the day she released her book, Latinnovating:  Green American Jobs and the Latinos Creating Them.

Immediately after hearing the numbers and fully understanding the gravity and urgency of the situation, Ms. Milan-Howells, a real estate developer in San Francisco, decided to devote her community service time to take the challenge. “Given the enormity of the situation facing not only the Latino community but also the country, I decided to focus my energy on addressing this issue and form a Latino Parents Club to help Latino parents navigate the education system,” said Ms. Milan-Howells. “I’ve asked Graciela to partner with me to raise awareness of the need for mentors for the Latino children of San Francisco.” In California, over half the children in K-12 schools are Latinos. 

“Truly the status quo educational attainment numbers for the Latino community are an impending train wreck for America,” says Graciela.  Join us to avoid that wreck; take the “Two by 2020 Mentoring Challenge.” Visit our blog for all the details.  Get involved. Be a part of the solution.