Elon University / Today at Elon / Elon University to host LatinxEd, an N.C. educational equity and opportunity organization

Through a partnership between LatinxEd and the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education, the organization will relocate its operations to Elon’s campus, providing opportunities for collaboration and collaborative research.

A new partnership between educational equity and leadership organization LatinxEd and the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education means the North Carolina-based Latinx education initiative will be held on the Elon University campus.

The LatinxEd logoLatinxEd strives to invest in Latinx leadership and expand educational equity and opportunity in North Carolina by reimagining equitable, inclusive learning environments that recognize, honor, and serve the diverse needs of the Latinx immigrant community. The nonprofit educational organization, previously hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will relocate its operations to the Koury Center in the heart of the Elon campus.

“We are excited to partner with LatinxEd on the mission of making higher education a reality for more Latinx students and to help their families overcome the challenges they face in navigating the education system and accessing college,” said Ann Bullock, Dr. Jo Watts Williams Dean of Education at Elon. “Locating LatinxEd on Elon’s campus provides numerous opportunities for collaboration, including collaborative research efforts, opportunities for professional advancement, and the development of new programs.”

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Ann Bullock, the Dean of Education for Dr. Jo Watts Williams

LatinxEd was founded in 2018 by Elaine Utin and Ricky Hurtado, who both faced obstacles while seeking college opportunities as high school students from Latinx immigrant families. With the support of partners like the Belk Endowment and the Oak Foundation, LatinxEd has developed initiatives that connect practice with policy and advocate for system changes to improve public education.

“Deepening our roots in Alamance County, after spending the last two years listening to the community and learning what they want to see in education as part of the Alamance Forward project, seems like the right next step for our organization said Utin, CEO of LatinxEd. We are thrilled to partner with an institution like Elon University that shares our vision of expanding opportunities for more students who may be the first in their families to enter college.”

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Its flagship initiative, Somos Carolina, creates inclusive learning experiences for Latinx high school students to grow as scholars and leaders. It is designed to help students better embrace their cultural identity, become innovative problem solvers, and break new ground as civic leaders. The program includes the Semillas Summer Camp for high school students and the establishment and support of Somos Carolina clubs in high schools to support Latinx student connection and achievement.

LatinxEd co-founders Elaine Utin and Ricky Hurtado

LatinxEd’s College y Consejos program is a free online college counseling room for Latinx students in North Carolina featuring one-on-one sessions with virtual coaches. The 20 Under 20 Network recognizes young Latinx leaders in the state, while the LatinxEd Scholarship offers grantees a six-month immersive learning opportunity, including leadership coaching and strategic communications support. In Alamance County, home of Elon University, LatinxEd’s #AlamanceForward Listening Tour is a community effort to identify barriers to opportunity and create a path to greater educational equity. #SomosNC offers the same type of listening tour but with a nationwide focus.

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The new partnership between Watts Williams School of Education and LatinxEd complements and coordinates Elon University’s efforts to improve access to education and success. The university’s Center for Access and Success hosts initiatives and programs, including the It Takes a Village Project, Elon Academy, the Odyssey Program, and First-Generation Support Services, that work together to support students and their families from kindergarten through college support.

Additionally, the Alamance Scholars program is a partnership between the Alamance Burlington School System, Alamance Community College and Elon that aims to provide high school students with a path to earn their bachelor’s degree and then pursue their teaching careers in local schools start. Elon is also home to the Freedom Scholars initiative, a college entry program for local high school students with a focus on civic engagement and leadership.