El Programa Hispano - School-Based Services for Youth and Their Families

El Programa Hispano provides family- oriented, culturally specific programs to support students to improve their academic achievement and to pursue higher levels of education. Our programs emphasize and promote strengths, resiliency and empowerment to help Latino youth and their families plan for their futures and achieve their educational dreams. We advocate for a fair and equitable public education system and encourage positive cultural identity development of Latino youth.

Services to Youth Include:

ALAS (Advancing Latino Academic Success): El Programa Hispano provides academic support, advocacy, skill building activities, mentoring, tutoring and recreation to Latino students attending schools in the Portland, Parkrose, David Douglas, Centennial, Gresham-Barlow and Reynolds school districts. The ALAS program emphasizes and promotes strengths, resiliency, and empowerment to help Latino youth and their families plan for their futures and achieve their educational dreams.

Contact Vilma Chan Vasquez at

SUN (Schools Uniting Neighborhoods) Community Schools: SUN Community Schools in Multnomah County are full-service neighborhood hubs where the school and partners from the community come together to make sure kids and families have what they need to be successful in school and in life. SUN Community Schools mobilize and strategically organize community resources to provide:

  • education support and skill development for youth and adults
  • enrichment and recreation activities
  • family involvement and support
  • social, health and mental health benefits
  • family and community events

    Contact information at Catholic Charities' SUN schools:

Christi Rivera, East Gresham Elementary,, 503-661-5022
Emily Goldberg, Hall Elementary,, 503-492-6726
Genie Gomez, Wilkes Elementary,, 503-255-6133
Madeliene Hernandez, Ron Russell Middle School,, 503-256-6514
Amanda Wolff, Floyd Light Middle School,,

Puentes: El Programa Hispano collaborates with Multnomah County school districts, the City of Portland, and All Hands Raised to target academic priority Latino students with the support they need to start high school on the right track. Puentes students making the transition from middle to high school learn academic and life skills, develop positive and supportive relationships with school staff and peers, and connect with resources for postsecondary education and training during a four week summer program.

Contact Vilma Chan Vasquez,, 503-991-9165.

Plaza Comunitaria: The Plaza Comunitaria (Plaza) is an education program that enables Spanish-speaking adults to complete their education in a conveniently located learning center. Originally created by Mexico's National Institute for Adult Education (INEA), the curriculum of the Plaza is available to all Spanish-speaking adults who desire to further their education. Students are able to gain Spanish literacy skills, complete their primary and secondary education certificates, learn English, prepare for GED, and improve computer literacy skills. The Plaza operates at Wilkes, Hall, East Gresham, Ron Russell, and Floyd Light SUN schools and at the El Programa Hispano office in Gresham.

Contact Laura Hernandez,, 503-661-5022 or

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