Contact: Gloria Vaquera, ENLACE Program Assistant
(505) 277-3234 or
Tim Gutierrez, Special Programs Director
(505) 277-3096 or

May 8, 2001


The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque Technical-Vocational Institute and Albuquerque Public Schools are joining together with students, parents and businesses to help increase the number of Hispanic students earning high school and college degrees through a four-year W.K. Kellogg Foundation initiative.

The $2.3 million initiative in Albuquerque is a community-wide effort to work across social, economic and educational boundaries to address the needs of Hispanic youth.

"We are very fortunate in New Mexico to have been selected by the W.K. Kellogg foundation to receive one of the 13 grants nationwide. This will certainly provide the catalyst for having a major impact on improving the education of Hispanics in New Mexico," said Dr. Ricardo Maestas, Project Director for ENLACE Program.

Nationally, 13 partnerships are part of the ENLACE Initiative--a six-year, $28 million effort funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Houston Endowment Inc.--to strengthen the K-16 education pathway. The 13 ENLACE partnerships are located in seven states with high Hispanic populations-Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Mexico, New York and Texas.

ENLACE in Albuquerque is also a part of a statewide initiative that will combine the strengths and assets of the three regional ENLACE initiatives to maximize their impact statewide. Additionally, ENLACE in Albuquerque is one of 13 Kellogg initiatives throughout the country seeking to improve the Hispanic K-16 education pathway.

ENLACE is derived from the Spanish word "enlazar," meaning to link or weave together, to connect in such a way that the new entity is stronger than its parts. The initiative's guiding principal is that community-based partnerships are the foundation upon which lifelong learning and achievement are built.

ENLACE in Albuquerque activities are scheduled to begin this summer and in early fall. Planned activities focus on young people from kindergarten through college. The activities include:

· The focus for Hispanic college students is on early detection and intervention that will help ensure graduation through increased academic support and special attention to the specific retention issues they face.
· High school students will benefit from greater academic and test preparation,
parental involvement, mentoring and exposure to careers.
· Efforts for middle-school students will promote greater literacy and early
awareness of college and careers.
· ENLACE projects for primary-grade students will focus on role models and increasing educational aspirations.
· At all levels, various components of Albuquerque's Hispanic Teacher Pipeline project will work with students to expose them to teaching as a career, provide mentoring opportunities, leadership development and essential information for making the transitions throughout the educational pipeline. Through this effort ENLACE will increase the number of Hispanic teachers in APS.

In addition to UNM, Albuquerque T-VI and APS, coalition partners include the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce; Catholic Charities; the City of Albuquerque; the Hispanic Roundtable; the Hispanic Statement of Cooperation; New Mexico MESA, Inc.; and the Public Service Company of New Mexico.

# # #

Please let us know what you thought of this article. Comments to:

The University of New Mexico
Public Affairs Department
Hodgin Hall, 2nd floor
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0011
Telephone: (505) 277-5813
Fax: (505) 277-1981