There is an organization that has been working on celebrating cultural diversity in Grand Junction since 1956—The Latin Anglo Alliance (LAA). What a lot of people don’t realize is that the annual Cinco de Mayo festival presented by LAA in downtown Grand Junction is a fundraiser to raise money for scholarships for Latino kids. So, put May 14 on your calendar. Go downtown and listen to wonderful music provided by everyone from some School District 51 Mariachis (appearing at 11:45 a.m.) to a local band, Latin Knights (appearing at 4:00 p.m.) and a street dance starting at 6:00 p.m. with music provided by Mark Rendon y Deztino, New Mexico Recording artists. In addition to wonderful music, there will also be food and beer vendors. While you are there, leave some money for the organization, which is tax deductible, and goes to help bridge the achievement gap for Latino kids.
What achievement gap? According to a report issued last year (linked below) Colorado has the second largest achievement gap in the country. From the report:
• The educational attainment rate of Whites compared to the next largest ethnic group is the second largest in the country – a 31.2 percent gap, compared to the national average of 19.1 percent.
• For Colorado, this refers to Hispanics, who are also the fastest growing demographic in the state.
• Currently, 15.5 percent of Hispanics in Colorado have a certificate or degree beyond high school; 8.2 percent have a bachelor’s degree.
• Only 9 percent of Hispanic males in high school today will go on to education after high school.
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Latin Anglo Alliance
Strategic Plan for Colorado's Higher Education