The Latino Education Fund (LEF) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization providing scholarship opportunities, educational outreach, career development services, financial literacy and policy development to college bound Latino students.
[four_fifth]Heberto M. Sanchez, founded LEF to create a much-needed resource to the Latino students and young adults by providing information on college preparedness, career development and financial awareness. LEF’s mission is to prepare young people with the resources necessary for advance education and financial knowledge to strive for a better life. The overall goal of the organization is to improve the well-being of people through education. LEF is dedicated to improving the well-being of young Latinos by providing a wide spectrum of quality services in Spanish/English.[/four_fifth][one_fifth_last]
Latinos are America’s largest racial/ethnic minority and the fastest-growing demographic of the young work force. There are more than 50 million Latinos living in the United States according to the 2010 Unites States Census Bureau. Between 2000 and 2010, the Bureau reported that the Latino population grew by 43%, which was four times the growth in the total population at 10%.In addition to the increase in the Latino population there has been an increase of Latinos that are college bound and although the proportion of Latinos over 25 who hold at least a bachelor’s degree rose from 11.1 percent in 2001 to 14.1 percent in 2011, Latinos still have the lowest high school and college completion rates of any racial or ethnic group.
With the current global market expanding every day, the U.S. faces stiff global competition from emerging countries that are educating their workforce to contribute to innovations in technically and business. Degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will continue to be necessary to help address the huge shortage of skilled labor in major employment sectors such as Oil and Gas. In order to compete in this expanding global market we must break the cycle of under-educated Latinos.
As the fastest growing segment of the U.S. minority population, Latinos will be a more integrated part of the American workforce. Supporting organizations like LEF assists in providing Latinos to resources to seek and finish higher education we can provide them with the access to economic equitability and thus produce a sizeable increase in tax revenues, including much-needed support for Social Security and Medicare.
In order to achieve this growth, LEF’s goal is to increase the number of Latinos entering and completed college degrees so these students may themselves one day be entrepreneurs and create needed jobs. By assisting students and young adults in identify career paths, LEF hopes this will assist them in furthering their education in college as the interest in future employment may be a positive motivation. Also it would allow students and young adults to learn more about the fields of study that they are interested in majoring.