Putting aside money and financially preparing for college can be difficult and stressful, especially for first generation college students and their families. But Sociedad Latina is dedicated to making college a reality for the youth we serve. This year we will expand our services and connect with a new partner, Families United in Educational Leadership (FUEL), to ensure youth and families have the financial skills and savings they need to take the next step towards their educational goals.

FUEL is a Boston-based nonprofit dedicated to making higher education financially viable for families. They match contributions to college savings accounts for families who commit to participation in six «Savings Circles,» financial literacy workshops that cover the transition to college, financing your child’s education, and how to advocate for your child. In our first year of this partnership, 30 families will be able to participate.

«As we prioritize helping youth graduate and get into college through our Mission Possible! program, we realize more and more how much of a barrier finances can be,» says Sociedad Latina Executive Director Alexandra Oliver-Dávila, who is also on the FUEL Advisory Board. «Tracking contributions, like FUEL does, and saving with others in a group increases motivation. And this is much more than savings. It includes navigation through the financial aid process and financial literacy training.»

FUEL is open to any Sociedad Latina or community family with a student in 6th grade or higher. Money saved through the program does not count against families as an asset when applying for scholarships or financial aid. The program has connections to exclusive scholarship opportunities as well. Twelve graduates from Lynn have already received $2.6 million in scholarships and 60 college acceptances.

«This is a perfect fit for our Mission Enrichment Program and Mission Possible! program,» says Alex. «The Savings Circle curriculum is already translated into Spanish, and it helps families get into the mindset that all youth can go to college if they want to.»

For more information about education programming and FUEL, contact jimmy@sociedadlatina.org.

ABOUT SOCIEDAD LATINA: Since 1968, Sociedad Latina has been working in partnership with youth to create the next generation of leaders. With the support of families and the broader community, Sociedad Latina fulfills its critical mission by providing an array of programs that promote educational attainment, community leadership, civic engagement, meaningful employment, and cultural exploration.

Sociedad LatinaÂ’s array of programs geared towards positive youth development and family engagement builds youth skills, educates and enriches the lives of youth and their families, and fosters youth and adult leadership and action. The youth who attend Sociedad Latina programs are stewards of the organization; their leadership and insight inform all programs and events.

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