La Vida, Inc.
29 Green St.
La Vida Scholars (LVS) was founded in 2007 to involve Lynn's low-income Latino parents in their children's college quest and to provide superior college preparation for high-achieving students. LVS's unique program engages the entire family: students work hard in school and in the after-school program, while parents participate in college access workshops (Savings Circles) and slowly put money away for college. Together, they strive toward higher education. Each year, 15 tenth grade students with a GPA of at least 3.0 are selected. Participants meet once or twice a week (depending on their year) to follow a college preparation curriculum in which they evaluate the best college fit; complete scholarship, financial aid, and college applications; and begin to plan their future. The curriculum includes campus visits, Saving Circle meetings, preparation for the SAT and state standardized tests, academic tutoring, and community involvement. Research shows that family involvement is a key indicator of children's academic success, so our energetic engagement with parents is a critical part of the programs' success. LVS serves Latino high school students and their parents, most of them immigrants, from Lynn, Massachusetts. LVS's families are all low-income (82 percent get free or reduced cost lunch at school) and live in underserved neighborhoods with limited access to resources that support youth. They are passionate about wanting their children to succeed but have little experience with the US educational system. Our families are highly motivated to move their children toward higher education so they can create a better life for themselves and their community.