Project Mission and Goals: The Mi Espacio/Escalera program(s) seeks to improve high school graduation and college enrollment rates among Immigrant and ELL students, while supporting middle school students in enrichment programing. The program includes a comprehensive after school curriculum combined with leadership activities, service learning, and summer internship and career exploration activities. The core competencies covered in the program are career exploration, educational attainment, technology, college and educational field trips, personal and leadership development, summer volunteer experiences, and job readiness training.
The Mi Espacio afterschool program(s) (which also incorporates ESCALERA and Parents as Teachers) is situated in the heart of Langley Park, Baltimore City, and Baltimore County Maryland. Langley Park, located in Prince George’s County just miles from the nation’s capital, is one of the most diverse and disadvantaged communities in the nation. In their 2014 report “From Cradle to Career: The Multiple Challenges Facing Immigrant Families in Langley Park Promise Neighborhood,” The Urban Institute, University of Maryland, and CASA determined that of the 17,000 Langley Park residents, over 70% are foreign-born, principally from Central America. In addition, the median income of Langley Park families with children is less than a third of the median for all Maryland families with children; about 18% of households live in poverty in the neighborhood, three times the rate in Maryland, and nearly twice that of the nation. Most Langley Park children (75%) enter school with limited English. These students face particularly acute challenges in PGCPS, and need intensive academic supports as well as wraparound case management services and family supports in order to succeed. Baltimore Region possesses a unique set of opportunities and challenges. Its position as a port city has fostered a great deal of diversity in Baltimore’s economy and population, which includes immigrants from countries across the globe. It is a minority-majority city, with African Americans comprising the largest majority population (more than 60%, including the growing African immigrant population), and Latinos as the next largest majority group in the city. Baltimore has a long history of major civil rights legacies and victories as well as complicated history of racial segregation and tension, and as Baltimore’s Latino community expands to new areas of the city, longtime residents face new challenges and opportunities in welcoming new neighbors. Furthermore, systemic poverty plagues many neighborhoods – with nearly 24% of Baltimoreans living below the poverty level and an unemployment rate of approximately 8% – as does a lack of support systems in the areas of employment, education, transportation and housing. These conditions have helped to inflame historical divisions between racial, cultural, and socioeconomic groups.
Over the past four years, the number of ESL (English as a Second Language) students in Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) has doubled in every grade from Pre-K to 12, and schools have been scrambling to provide adequate academic support to this growing student population. Part of this growth has included an influx of “newcomer” students – high school-aged students
Member Position Summary:
Escalera project members will work primarily with high and middle school-aged immigrant youth and their parents in target schools and at CASA’s centers “Mi Espacio” after school program, and standalone college and career exploration after school program sites (Escalera) in Owings Mills High school, and Benjamin Franklin High school. They will implement the Escalera college prep curriculum during weekly after school classes with a cohort of 15-30 students, and will also participate in-home visits and follow up meetings with students and their parents where necessary. Members will also provide workshops to high school and middle school students who fall outside of the target schools regarding the college application process, financial aid, career exploration, and enrichment lessons.
Required training prior to Member Placement:
CASA will provide a two-week orientation program at the beginning of the Service Year. Some trainings will include the Escalera curriculum, college access and financial aid workshops, racial equity, classroom management, and program facilitation. as well as best practices on outreach, record keeping, and other relevant issues. The training includes an overview of National Service, the role of CNCS and the Maryland’s GOSV, as well as training on prohibited activities as described by CNCS.
Members will assist program participants in advancing to high school, graduating from high school, completing an internship, applying to college, choosing a career pathway, and seeking financial aid, where relevant. Members will also help participants to build their leadership skills, develop their self-confidence, problem solving abilities, and engage parents into the students’ academic and higher education experience.
Members will be evaluated about outcomes such as number of students who participate in the Mi Espacio, ESCALERA or Parents as Teachers program and in college access workshops and outputs such as how many of those participants graduate from high school, apply for financial aid, apply to multiple colleges, and are accepted into college, or successfully complete a summer internship and increase in parent engagement. Members will also be evaluated on their soft multiple-skills required in every job environment, such as public speaking, learning will, teamwork, communication, and professionalism.
Essential Functions of Position:
- Recruiting students to participate in the program;
- Facilitating the Escalera curriculum in target schools
- Conducting individual home visits and goal-setting sessions with families at the beginning of the school year;
- Delivering educational workshops and activities related to college- and career-readiness, leadership development and civic engagement, and health and financial literacy, as well as other life skills training and academic enrichment;
- Developing and leading community service activities and field trips for participants;
- Providing individual mentorship and support to program participants;
- Develop internship opportunities and connecting program participants to these opportunities;
- Facilitating multiracial safe-space conversations and other activities intended to improve school climate;
- Providing referral to other services as appropriate; and
- Administering pre- and post-tests and tracking all program participation.
Note: The AmeriCorps member will not be allowed to perform duties that violate the AmeriCorps Prohibited Activities or fall outside of the program goals.
Spring (Feb - May), Summer (Jun - Aug), Fall (Sep - Dec), Winter (Jan), Ongoing
August 31st, 2020 - August 13th, 2021
Hours per week:
Full-time and part-time available (40 hours/20hours a week)
Yes, $549 biweekly for FT, $275 biweekly for PT stipend
U.S. Citizen/U.S. National, Permanent U.S. Resident
Full-time commitment (1700 hour/year):
Living allowance of $ 549 bi-weekly, health care coverage. Members may apply for child-care allowance. Members will be entitled to a $6,195 education award upon program completion.
Half-Time commitment (900 hours/year): Living allowance of $275 bi-weekly.
Member will be entitled to a $3,097.50 education award upon program completion.
Living allowance will be paid bi-weekly by direct deposit.
Individuals may be eligible to have the repayment of their qualified students loans postponed while serving. This postponement is called forbearance. While interest may continue to accrue during your service, if you successfully complete the term of service the National Service Trust will pay all or a portion of the qualified loan's interest that accrued during your service. Most federally- guaranteed student loans are eligible for forbearance.
CASA offers a variety of free-, high quality- training courses on high quality- training courses on Popular Education, and multicultural program management.