The Dream of Education, a Reality!
With education as a cornerstone of opportunity in our nation, we are excited to widen the possibilities for single immigrant mothers and their college bound students. “Opportunities Start Here” is a financial education and matched savings initiative of Prosperity Works in partnership with Encuentro (Albuquerque) and The Women’s Intercultural Center (Anthony). This project provided one of few opportunities for lower income single immigrant moms to save for their own education while the youth also saved for college.
Prosperity Works recently celebrated the 2012 high school graduates who are participating in “Opportunities Start Here”. Joined by Principal Tim McCorkle of Albuquerque High School, and Principal Scott Elder of Highland High, we noted the remarkable achievement that these mothers and their children have been able to accomplish this year. Working, going to high school full time, and completing 20 hours of intense financial education together as families! All eight high school graduates are starting college in the fall.
Zaile Ramirez is attending Eastern New Mexico University.
Juan Sanchez and Ivan Salcado are attending New Mexico State University
Luis Angel Soto is attedning Central New Mexico Community Collage
Ada Duran, Nichole Gardner, and Ricardo Tellez are attending University of New Mexico.
Over this past year, efforts focused on developing knowledge of financial products and services, providing immediate access to higher education and career enhancement, and developing sustainable systems within New Mexico’s higher education and financial industries to support immigrant women and their children. Fostering collective learning about the financial challenges facing Latino immigrant families, participants learned how to access resources, relationships and information to overcome barriers and build personal, social and financial assets. The strongest predictor of social and economic outcomes for children is the educational level of one’s mother. In this initiative mothers and kids learned, saved and grew together.
The project was funded by the Kellogg Foundation in the amount of $100,000 and included Encuentro (Albuquerque) and the Women’s Intercultural Center (Anthony) as partners. Opportunities Starts Here has helped over 20 families in New Mexico. Twenty mothers and twenty-three high school teens participated, 34 of which have opened matched savings accounts to further their education.