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Advancing Students Forward

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: The organization's primary purpose is to provide marginalized students with scholarships, academic support services, enrichment activities, and promote their academic and professional success. The mission of advancing students forward (asf) is to provide disadvantaged students access to education and support for academic success so they can provide a promising future for themselves and the community in which they live. Asf serves an average of 75 needy students in the seventh grade to the university level. Students must demonstrate economic need, provide evidence of good grades and live in the vicinity of the community center in the town of tecolote in the city of tijuana, mexico. Students are required to participate in monthly meetings, maintain good grades, and perform service projects. Asf provides long-term support and guidance to the students. Each year, ten new students who are entering the seventh grade are accepted into the program. The expectation is that students will continu

Programs: Student support - students receive educational supplies, mentoring, opportunities for leadership, community building, and attending parent/student workshops. During monthly student meetings, students are supported in a variety of ways. This includes team-building and educational presentations, and workshops to provide academic support and guidance. University level students serve as team leaders. They are responsible for directing the meetings and for preparing the educational presentations. Alumni of advancing students forward (asf) continue to participate and mentor the current students. They also serve as ambassadors for asf in the broader community. Parent-student workshops are offered two times a year to strengthen the parent-child bond. This helps to expand the parent's understanding of the academic challenges and requirements their children face and improves their communication, strengthening their relationships. Each academic year, a specific curriculum is designed to meet the student's needs and to expand their horizons. The 2016-2017 school year curriculum focused on steam (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics). The curriculum began in 2015 in partnership with the university of san diego engineering department with an emphasis on the engineering design process. In 2016, the partnership has continued and expanded to include participation from the department of mathmatics. The curriculum this year revolved around mathigami. Mathigami explores the effect of using origami based mathematical practices and attitudes, inquiring-based learning skills and mathmematical teaching practices. The mathigami curriculum, which combined using origami paper folding activities, the application of mathematical formulas, and thinking, offered opportunities to improve their geometrical thinking skills and to experience the direct connection between mathematics formulas and equations in their everyday life. This curriculum contributed to the commitment of asf to prepare students for careers of the future. Exposure to steam curriculum offers opportunites to explore, practice, and contemplate different career paths. Curriculum presented in the past years include: self-expression with art and mural panting, internet safety and etiquette, human trafficking, public speaking, goal setting, self-respect, sexuality, and family values. The 2017-2018 school year curriculum was rich and varied. Students attended workshops in dance, photography, engineering design, art and mathematical applications to paperfolding. Students and their parents participated in discussions and activities to positively address conflict and strengthen family ties. Academic sessions were also held to give guidance on job interviews, resume writing, communication skills with teachers and peers, and recognizing factors in your life that are holding you back from being your best self. Asf continues to benefit from the partnership it shares with the university of san diego. In the coming year students will continue to explore engineering models and design via analysis of problems in their community. Professors and volunteers from the university of san diego will guide them as they work together to create possible solutions. This curriculum prepares the students of asf for careers of the future and impacts their community in a positive and concrete way.

scholarships - scholarships are awarded to needy students in various communities in tijuana, mexico, enabling them to attend school beyond sixth grade. Students are required to attend monthly meetings, participate in service projects, and maintain good grades. Each year, an average of 75 needy students from various communites in tijuana, mexico are given economic assistance. In mexico, fifty percent of students do not complete their education after sixth grade because they must pay for tuition and books. In many communities, the schools can not accommodate the number of students wanting to enroll due to lack of space. As a result, many stdents wishing to continue their studies must enroll in schools in neighboring communities and this compounds the expense incurred by them to continue school. Asf students are required to attend monthly meetings, participate in service projects, and maintain good grades. Scholarships are given on a monthly basis to help with the tuition and educational expenses, provided the students have fulfilled their monthly requirements and obligations to the program. Work study opportunities are also available to the students. Asf students staff the community center by providing office support and tutoring more than 70 children from the neighborhood. They serve as teachers for the many classes offered to the community, including homework support, english, and computer classes. Participants of asf also prepare the curriculum and staff the month-long summer camp program for more than one hundred elementary school children. Asf students are looked upon as role models in the community.

enrichment - educational programs include field trips, attendance at conferences, and educational or enriching extra-curricular activities. Field trips expose students to many cultural, educational, and professional opportunities in baja california, mexico. Students also have opportunities to attend conferences outside of tijuana. Students with visas participate in cross-cultural, binational events and exchanges with students on the united states side of the border including international friendship games in chula vista, ca, and the world link, steam, and geek girl conferences at the university of san diego.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became a volunteer with ASF (which is now Advancing Student Forward) about 10 years ago and a board member about 8 years ago, because I think it's such a great organization. ASF provides scholarships for youth in 7th grade through university in a neighborhood of Tijuana, Mexico. Although school is supposed to be free through high school, Mexico is still a poor country, so there aren't enough schools, teachers or supplies for Tijuana youth. Going to middle and high school can mean taking public transportation (sometimes 2 or 3 buses or collective taxis) each day, as well as buying school supplies, uniforms and often making donations to the school.

By helping poor kids get through school, ASF is raising the professional and economic levels of this neighborhood. Not only does ASF provide funds, but also mentoring, as university students work with younger students to help them navigate the school system, and present on life skills ranging from bullying to health. ASF also provides training for parents, many of whom didn't go to middle or high school, so don't know how to support their kids.

In addition to being a great program, ASF is well-run. Founder and Executive Director Monica Santos has a Masters in Nonprofit Management; the organization has excellent infrastructure, thoughtful and substantive programs, and tracks the long-term success of our students.

It has been a joy to be involved with ASF, to see students finish college, get jobs, help their families, younger students and their whole community. I hope you'll think of getting involved as a result of reading this review!