I volunteered at LISTOS for about two years several years ago, and it was a very rewarding experience. The students there were all very motivated and wanted to learn and succeed. Most of them had not succeeded in traditional schools for various reasons but fit into the special atmosphere that OCHA had created at LISTOS. I met some great people there and learned a lot from them. The school?s closing is a great loss to our community.
I met one young man who at 18 could barely read. He was born in the US and passed through public schools without learning even that basic skill. I don?t know how he found LISTOS but there he discovered the motivation he needed to learn.
One student I worked with had significant learning difficulties. He came every day and worked hard to do his best.
Most of the students I worked with were native Spanish speakers. While they were all learning English, most of them were more comfortable learning in Spanish. I had to struggle to learn enough Spanish to help them with their math studies, but it was a fun challenge for me. A few students grew up speaking other indigenous languages and had only learned rudimentary Spanish before coming to the US. Without teachers who spoke their native languages, they had real challenges, but they did it. The staff and volunteers at LISTOS gave them the tools they needed to succeed.
These people live here and want to be successful contributors to society. They need and deserve a good education. Thanks for giving this topic the attention.
Interesting how you just ran the piece on wineries lacking workers.
The issue is the NEED FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM!!
People will stay in the shadows, service providers will recoil before the assault of the bigots and the country will sink as we don't deal with this moral issue.
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I think it is sad that in the USA, the "land of opportunity", it is this difficult for at risk lation youth to simply get an education. It speaks volumes of our need for more comprehensive services for the latino population.
With the current economic crisis, the latino population suffers the most from the aging recession. Helping them achieve academic success is important to help them integrate better and feel they have equal chances to be part of the "land of opportunity" like all of us. Is it the time to close such orginization, I do not think so.
Young people like those who participate in LISTOS and OCHA are part of the next generation of Americans. If we do not provide avenues for success for them, then the future of the country is less then what it could be had we given them these chances. Many of them have made mistakes and organizations, particularly alternative schools like Listos, Open Meadows, the Youth Employment Institute and others provide them a second chance to do something great. As a society we should value the services these organizations provide and support them. With the Latino populations growing as fast as it is, it is in the country's best interest that culturally specific entities like LISTO continue. The lost of it we surely be felt in the years to come. It truly saddens me.
It is sad to see yet another educational institution closing down. Oregon has a sad story with education. For instance, look at engineering schools in the state. One the most reputable institute, the erstwhile Oregon Graduate Institute or OGI is also shrinking rapidly without any larger discussion with the community. Will the tech industry continue to stay in the area without educational support?
I am a former LISTOS Academy teacher/administrator and just wanted to say that it was an innovative, effective program and I'm sorry to see it close. Many latino students, especially those for whom English is a second language, struggle in a mainstream classroom. In my experience, students who were not being served in traditional public schools found a safe and enriching environment at Listos Academy, O.L.I., and in the other OCHA programs.
I saw first-hand how difficult it can be to find funding for innovative educational non-profits. There are a lot of ideas and educational models floating around, all competing for resources. LISTOS Academy was a model that worked. This is a true loss to the community.
I have worked for a county funded program and wish to address the matter of what the County requires for the dollars it offers. This program is not the only program facing financial hardships. The ugly truth is that all social services are struggling. There is increasing competition for a finite number of dollars.
In addition, please note that what the funding sources require for these dollars keeps changing. I worked for a similar school which serves special needs children. In the five years I was there, our staff was given one pay raise. My caseload nearly doubled, and each time the various governing agencies did an audit, they increased the amount of paperwork required. Not only did I have to work with an increasing number of students, but I also had to complete twice the amount of paperwork for each student on my caseload.
The net result was that I had less time for students.
One more comment, and that is that the County and State have a focus on Evidence Based practices. Communities are required to prove that they are using a system of education/treatment which has research behind it. This means that innovative programs that have developed their own systems are now having to adopt different systems. If there were more wisdom among the bureaucrats and decision makers, they could have made life much more simple for everyone by considering practice based evidence - measuring the systems that already exist for efficiency.
I understand that public administrators need to provide oversight and accountability, but some of their demands on agencies are unreasonable. How many more agencies will be brought to their knees in the years to come?
The curious thing about immigration and people from mexico in the US is that no one is looking at WHY they are here. Global free trade is crushing the mexican economy as much as the it is in the US. From all the numbers I've seen after NAFTA was put into effect the number of Latinos(particulalry from mexico) that have immiagrated(legal or not) to the US has gone up radically. I keep hearing the current batch of Republicans(I'm not one) talk about Fences and punishment for immigrants. Neither will help. The problem is all economic based. Employers would not give these people jobs if they were acutally penelized for hiring them, as they are suppose to be under the law. and the people in Mexico would not feel they have to come to the US just to survive if the US would stop supporting unfair Trade deals and corrupt goverments in Mexico
There needs to be a path to citizenship for all these people, our policies forced them to come here. I don't think any one of the undocumented immiagrants came to the US for a joyride.
I'm just curious if I went down to Mexico or any other county that most of these folks are coming from. Would I be provided with the same type of assistance/help in those countries. If not Why should we (tax payers) do the same for that person here in this country, do they not have the same type of opportunity that I have? They can get a job and work, go to school etc. Why should the tax payers that worked hard to get to where they are do this for people that decide to move here for the dream. The dream is something that you strive for not something given to you on a silver platter.
This reply is inspired by oregon606's comments, but also applies to the discussion in general:
Having traveled to Mexico and Brazil, I would say an American would probably not be provided the same social assistance that we currently have or wish to have for people coming to the U.S. I don't think it's a fair comparison, because there is no way that, as an American, you would need these services at all. In fact, there are many services that are lacking in these countries for their own citizens, whereas the US does have many services they offer to any US citizen.
That being said: a) tax payers in the US include many Latino families and families originally from other countries who are legally living and working and paying taxes here. There is certainly no reason to deny them social services when we (meaning any US citizen) may also benefit from other services for different times in our own lives; b) the dream is not to benefit from the hard work of others, but to go to a place where you have the opportunity to even work in the first place; c) it is in "our" best interest to support social services that meet the gaps in communities, because it is the best insurance against poverty leading to increased crime, emergency-room usage, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, that "we" complain we pay so much for through taxes, whether the source is Latino communities, or any community where poverty exists.
Face it folks, we are out of money to support these illegals, but then again Orygun has always been weird and that it is one reason our taxes are so high to support those that can't and that is why they flock to the Socialist State of Oregon. I can only wait for the Federal Law to take effect in this state that will hold employers responsible to prove US status of it's emplyoees...
Please tell me why people post such long-winded opines when brevity and succintness prevails?
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