Classes in Illinois Look to Empower Latino Parents


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Latinos are already the largest and youngest racial and ethnic minority group in the United States. The health and success of this growing population will be key to the overall prosperity of the country. Groups across the country have found numerous innovative ways to help Latinos obtain access to the resources available to them.

In DeKalb, IL (12.81% Latino population) the Universidad para Padres (Parents University) program was formed to help parents in the area “take active roles in their own personal growth and their children’s academic success.”

The program, which consisted of 22 sessions, was organized by Northern Illinois University (NIU) and covered a variety of topics. These included bilingual options for K-12 education to health promotion and applying for college.

One of the goals of the Universidad para Padres program is to help Latino overcome cultural, financial, and linguistic barriers so they might be in a better position to help their children succeed academically. A secondary aim is to help the parents themselves achieve success in continuing education.

“Parents who are successfully pursuing their own growth have a better chance of helping their children do the same,” said Parent University Coordinator Susana Das Nevers in an interview with NIU Today. “Parent University is about empowering the whole family, making sure everyone is getting the skills they need, and connecting parents and kids to relevant local resources.”

The program is supported by the Northern Illinois Regional P-20 Network, a collaborative group based at NIU and includes 13 community colleges and 30 school districts.

Learn more about the program here.

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By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Head Start and Early Head Start participants are Latino.

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