One child at a time: how Latino student retention rates are rising: Although 23-year-old Javier Alamirra is now a senior at the University of Houston, he was once at risk for dropping out, caught up in truancy and negative peer influences. Alexis Arteaga is the first in her family to go to college – a matter of pride for a girl who had moved nearly 20 times before ever reaching the 5th grade. Irvin Navarro, 18, was once involved in gangs – but is now planning to go to college and ultimately become a school teacher.
These three students have several things in common. They are Latino, were once at risk of dropping out of school, and have turned their lives around with the help and support of Communities in Schools, a national non-profit that works with public schools to provide academic and personal support to at-risk students ranging from elementary to high school age, all with the intention of reducing student dropout rates. Over one million students currently receive resources – ranging from academic assistance, school supplies, a meal or a pair of glasses – to help them stay in school.