Education begins in the family
A new Deutsche Bank initiative aims to improve the educational opportunities and thus economic prospects of Mexican children, young people and families living in New York City.
Find out more about the initiative
Mexican-Americans in New York City
The Mexican immigrant community in New York City is hardworking – they have the lowest unemployment rate among the City’s Latino groups. But many are trapped in low-paying jobs. The average annual salary is only US$20,000. By comparison, the median household income in the city is around $50,000 a year. That means that many Mexican-Americans live in or near poverty – with limited prospects of financial advancement.
To compensate for their low wages, many are required to take multiple jobs, which means they are less able to support their children’s education. Language and educational barriers are additional factors: Those who cannot speak English are challenged in navigating the school system and have limited opportunities to engage with their children’s teachers and schools.
High school dropout rate
“The rate of school dropouts is alarming,” says Lazar Treschan from the Community Service Society of New York (CSS), which conducted a study on the education and employment status of young Mexican-Americans in New York City. Results of the study show that only 37 percent of the 16- to 24-year-old Mexican-Americans in the city are enrolled in school. Nearly 60 percent of boys and almost half of the girls who leave school do not attain a degree, and 14 percent of them speak no English at all. The causes lie in the unique features of Mexican immigration. New York has historically attracted Latin Americans from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, but in recent years, the Mexican community has become the fastest growing group of immigrants in the city. Over the past twenty years, its number has increased fivefold from 57,000 to 324,000. Due to this rapid growth, comprehensive community supports are missing as is access to high-quality education and training.
High dropout rate
of male Mexican-Americans drop out of high school.
The initiative at a glance
— Reach: 3,500 young people and their families over the next three years
— Aim: Establish education hubs in every borough of New York City
— Investment: US$1.5m over three years by the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
Fostering economic mobility via a two-generation approach—an initiative of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation
Deutsche Bank employees held discussions with New York executives from the private sector, the public sector, and non-profit organizations as well as with employees and customers who have a connection to Mexico or Mexicans living in the United States. Those discussions led to a concept to provide the ideal support for this group. “We need to take a two-generation approach because attainment in the Mexican community is contextualized around the family unit,” says Nicole Rodriguez Leach of Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “Parents need to be involved. And they need to have the opportunity to become committed to education and training.” The initiative offers individual educational and support services in every part of the city, ranging from promoting literacy and childhood development programs to job training for young adults to translation services for parents. The aim is to reach 3,500 young people and their families in the next three years.