America’s Promise Alliance has released their 10 best Hispanic communities for young people, part of the 2012 winners of the 100 Best Communities for Young People. The ten communities listed below have a high Hispanic student population (20 percent or more) and a high graduation rate (80 percent or more). Here is the list:
1. Indio, CA is 67.8% Hispanic; graduation rate 84.3%
2. Chino, CA is 57.5% Hispanic; graduation rate 98.2%
3. Chino Hills, CA is 36.9% Hispanic; graduation rate 89.2%
4. Lubbock, TX is 32.1% Hispanic; graduation rate 85.0%
5. Windsor Unified School District, CA is 31.8% Hispanic; graduation rate 82.2%
6. Waterbury, CT is 31.2% Hispanic; graduation rate 83.6%
7. White Plains, NY is 29.6% Hispanic; graduation rate 83.0%
8. Marina, CA is 27.0% Hispanic; graduation rate 97.0%
9. Bergenfield School District, NJ is 26.5% Hispanic; graduation rate 94.6%
10. McKinney, TX is 25.0% Hispanic; graduation rate 82%
“As Hispanic Heritage Month begins, it is important to celebrate successes taking place in communities with large Latino populations,” says Dr. Betty Molina Morgan, chief education advisor for America’s Promise Alliance. One great example, she says, is the agricultural community of Chino, California, a five-time winner. “Chino stands out not only for its high graduation rate but also its programs supporting youth safety and health,” she says. “Chino youth serve on advisory boards for the City and the Chino Unified School District, giving them an important voice in public policy,” Dr. Molina Morgan explains.
In Waterbury, Connecticut, the district has a school-based early intervention and prevention program, called SUN, which is designed to reduce the stress of struggling students. Waterbury has also connected Latino parents through the “Parents Are Great Educators” program, which includes tips on how to help children with homework, according to Dr. Molina Morgan.
Residents in Lubbock, Texas, for example, walk around their communities to make sure there are no teens who should be in school. In White Plains, New York, Latino first-generation future college students have access to SAT prep classes and college preparation assistance.
“The reasons for each community winning this honor are as varied and diverse as the Latino population itself,” adds America’s Promise Dr. Molina Morgan. The Latina educator adds that while we can be proud of Latino athletes in the recent Olympics or Latino politicians in the recent conventions, “the biggest celebration this Hispanic Heritage Month goes to the many Latino communities that are setting shining examples of how to prepare their youth for the future,” Molina Morgan says.