2015 Learn Everywhere

Mission Graduates: Latina Tech Mentor Program

San Francisco, CA
2015 Winner for Learn Everywhere Award
About Learn Everywhere Award

Supports adult learning through community and cultural resources, technology, and/or open platforms to enable learning anytime and anywhere.

Provide an overview of the project, practice or product that your video represents, and how your work encompasses the principles and ideals of the award that you're applying for.

As an organization whose primary Mission is to ensure that students from the Mission District in San Francisco are prepared to get into and graduate from college, Mission Graduates is embedded at elementary, middle and high schools with students and families to help students overcome the barriers they face on their path to college. Mission Graduates launched the Latina Tech Mentor Program in order to address the issue of unequal access to technology education at home among low-income Latino immigrant families, which can exacerbate the already significant achievement between Latino students and the general population of students in SFUSD. Our parent-to-parent model of tech mentorship provides historically under-connected families with information about online educational resources, as well as the support to utilize these resources to promote their student’s academic success, and support the whole family learning together. By targeting some of the pre-established parent leaders to be a part of our initial cohort, we laid the groundwork for these parents to become mentors themselves, sharing what they learned with other parents at their respective schools in the following year. Not only does this increase the number of families that we can serve but it is also aligned with our model of parent leadership development. In the winter of 2015, Mission Graduates’ Parent Partner Program began a small-scale pilot of the Tech Mentorship program, matching 8 parent leaders with Spanish-speaking women in tech. Through a personalized curriculum, the pairs meet bi-weekly, exploring topics such as word processing, social media, email and Internet educational resources for youth. Mission Graduates provide mentors with ongoing training and technical assistance throughout and check in regularly with both mentor-mentee pair to ensure they are meeting regularly and progressing well. Most mentorship sessions occur in Mission Graduates’ offices, a central, semi-private location with easy computer access.

Explain the long-lasting impact of what you've presented in this video, and provide any qualitative or quantitative data that supports this impact.

Upon completion of the pilot phase at the end of last year, we conducted a qualitative analysis of the program, interviewing each of the mentors and mentees separately to assess how successfully each parent was able to learn and integrate the new technology skills. In every case, parents were able to acquire new technology skills and use them to support their child’s education in some capacity, such as improving web search skills to help their student with research projects or improving confidence with email to be able to better communicate with their child’s teacher. Additionally, the 1-on-1 format seemed to work better for our parents as opposed to taking part in a basic digital literacy class in a more traditional classroom setting. In some cases, parents had unable to attend such a class due to their busy schedule, while others who had attended reported that the information covered was either not always relevant or applicable to their lives or that the instructor would go either too fast or too slow. In summary, through our analysis of the pilot phase of this program, we see strong potential for growth and ultimately to reach a larger number of parents. Over the next three years, with the proper financial support, we envision that as many as 180 Latino parents could be trained and equipped with the tools to ensure their estimated 500 English-Language Learner children in Mission District schools find support with English Language and Literacy Development in the home. This will help to minimize the academic achievement gap found for Latino and immigrant students. We are currently in the process of developing a more robust quantitative, as well as qualitative evaluation mechanism to measure the future success and growth of the program.