ENgaging LAtino Communities in Education (ENLACE) is a grassroots initiative dedicated to empowering marginalized Hispanic/Latino communities through a comprehensive pre-school through graduate/professional educational pipeline. ENLACE sustains and increases learning opportunities and the degree of engagement among constituents at every level of education, beginning in early elementary school and culminating with college- and graduate-level education.
ENLACE endeavors to reduce the Hispanic dropout rates in grades P-12 by helping to create statewide systemic change throughout a P-20 educational pipeline and, therefore, contribute to increasing the number of Hispanic students successfully graduating from institutions of higher education. ENLACE works in collaboration with the state Department of Education, Higher Education Department, as well as many legislators. ENLACE also sets out to institutionalize culturally-rooted best practices in classrooms across New Mexico. Other long-term goals involve policy work to mobilize Hispanic/Latino communities to continue advocating for improvements in educational opportunities for their youths and importing cultural competence into the school culture through parental input.
In recent academic years, ENLACE touched, and positively impacted, the lives of more than:
- 9,000 Hispanic/Latino parents
- 12,000 Hispanic/Latino K-12 students (directly), and
- 85,000 that have participated in ENLACE via student contacts with various parts of the program,
- 400 post-secondary Hispanic/Latino students (undergraduate and professional school students), and
- 90 Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic/Latino teachers throughout New Mexico.
The effectiveness of ENLACE is also visible through an internal comparison of students at different points in their educational trajectory. Specifically, comparing student performance in grades 6-9 shows significant overall improvements in student school performance, as measured through comparisons in grade-point averages (GPAs).