The Catholic Schools Office, together with the Catholic Education Foundation of the Diocese of Joliet, have been on a quest to increase the Latino student enrollment in the area’s Catholic schools.
To that end, they have created successful partnerships with area companies through the Latino Student Recruitment Initiative.
Many area companies employ workers of Latino origin. Through this initiative, small businesses are invited to provide partial funding for scholarships to benefit the grade school or high school children of company employees.
One elementary school has received more than $30,000 in recent years through this program alone, said Jennifer Georgis, Executive Director for the Catholic Education Foundation, and has positively affected the lives of multiple school families.
Those who invest in the children via the Latino Student Recruitment Initiative are also investing in their companies, the community, and the future as the scholarships will be able to improve graduation rates among the Latino students. This, in turn, will lead to a better-educated workforce in the future.
There are 655,000 Catholics in the Diocese, with a Latino population of 345,000, according to the 2010 US Census data.
National Census trends project that one-third of the US population will be Latino by 2050, and northern Illinois is expected to surpass that demographic trend. And while more than 30% of the Diocese of Joliet population is Latino, less than 5 % make up the area’s Catholic school enrollment.
For companies, investing in the children will ensure an increased level of loyalty and dedication among employees, as well as improve employee retention. Companies can also write off the charitable donation to the Latino Student Recruitment Initiative on their business income taxes.
Visit http://cefjoliet.org/Hispanic_Business_Partnerships for more detailed information or contact the CEF Office at (815) 221-6127 to see how you can partner with a local Diocese of Joliet school and ensure quality personnel in your business for the future.
Catholic Education Foundation : 815.221.6127 : 16555 Weber Road, Crest Hill, IL 60403: http://cefjoliet.org/