Mamas Unidas Little Rock for Education Works To Break Barriers For Hispanic Students

Photo via Mamas Unidas Little Rock Facebook

By Pamela Acosta

A non-profit organization in Little Rock is working to eliminate the educational barriers for students who come from Spanish-speaking households.

Mamas Unidas Little Rock for Education was born four years ago to help break Hispanic students’ barriers to education by providing the resources and information they need to succeed.

President Mayca Alvarez said she struggled with these barriers firsthand.

“When my son was a high school student, I was lost about how he could go to college,” said Alvarez. “He was a very good student; he had good grades, a 31 on the ACT, but I do not know anything about FAFSA about scholarships.”

Alvarez found other Hispanic moms experiencing the same struggles, so they decided to take matters into their own hands and help others who might also be struggling.

The group provides students and their families with information on how to apply for scholarships and college. Hispanic parents are often the primary influence in their household, but if they cannot understand the resources made available to their children, these resources will be underutilized.

Mamas Unidas also hosts workshops that have helped families understand how the higher education system works in the United States.

“We can compare applying to scholarships like cooking tamales or other crazy examples that may be funny but make people think with better-related things,” said Alvarez.

Mamas Unidas hopes to continue helping families, and its next goal is to follow students from the beginning of their high school career until they graduate. The organization hopes that its work will inspire the next generation to continue breaking barriers.