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Juntos 4-H

Juntos 4-H, an after-school program through Purdue Extension and funded by the United Way of Daviess County, helps Latino families at Washington Jr. High bridge the gap between high school and post-secondary education. 

The name Juntos, which means “together” in English, is not just a name. Juntos represents the belief that education success among Latino youth requires the collaboration of families, schools, and communities. The program aims to unify schools, families, and community efforts to work “together” to prevent school dropouts, promote students’ access to post-secondary education, and increase family engagement

There are 4 main components of Juntos 4-H: Family Engagement, 4-H Clubs, One-on-One Success Coaching and Mentoring, and Summer Programming. A 5-Week Family Middle School Workshop series makes education a family goal, helping families navigate the complex path from middle school to post-secondary education. 

Juntos 4-H Clubs provide positive youth development experiences through an intentional process to support students. Focusing on Positive Youth Development practices with long-term outcomes such as Academic and Vocational Success, Civic Engagement, soft skills such as public speaking, leadership development, healthy mental and physical habits, and positive education and recreation activities. 

Program Director Luis Santiago, Purdue Extension-Daviess County, feels very passionate about this program. “I want to see not only the kids but I want to see the parents succeed. We have had a Hispanic population in this county for almost 30 years, but we don’t see many bilingual faculty. We want students to feel a sense of pride and belonging so that one day they can come back to teach kids and help our community.”

Supporting Latino parents is crucial to the program’s success because parents are students’ strongest support system. Juntos 4-H brings parents and youth “together” to take ownership of their educational dreams and goals.