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History and Purpose
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Las Llaves del Éxito was started in fall 2002 by a committee of community members who wanted to encourage high school students to graduate from high school and to continue their education. The founding group intended to target the Latino community and its tendency to make family-based decisions about attending college, and sessions were created to inform students and Spanish-speaking parents about options for higher education. All interested high school students may attend, and the program now serves as an access tool for larger, underrepresented communities in Dallas.
Las Llaves del Éxito started as a fall semester event; it has expanded to include a spring program, too. In the fall, Las Llaves is a general program open to all interested students in grades six or higher (both middle school and high school) and their families, complete with informational workshops, a lecture series and a college fair. The spring session targets high school juniors and seniors, as well as their parents, and includes a college fair, plus specific workshops on financial aid and admissions to meet the needs of college-bound students.
Meeting Community Needs
Las Llaves continues to offer a number of bilingual sessions for parents; sponsors include Dallas County Community College District and Dallas Independent School District. Partners for the spring 2012 event include the University of North Texas at Dallas, Education Is Freedom, Texas A&M University-Commerce, the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, Dallas County Schools, LULAC National Educational Service Centers Inc., the University of Texas at Dallas, Jackson Walker LLP and Univision.
In spring and fall 2011, Las Llaves programs attracted a total of more than 1,700 participants for both programs (at Cedar Valley College and the University of North Texas at Dallas), including lunch guests and walk-ins following the official registration period. Middle school and high school students attended the fall 2011 program from Dallas ISD and other area school districts. The spring 2011 program, limited to juniors and seniors, also attracted Dallas ISD high schools, plus participants from other school districts across the county. During those programs, students worked on their financial aid forms, and more than 400 people served as event volunteers.
For more information, call the DCCCD outreach office at (214) 378-1738, or DCCCD’s Spanish line at (214) 378-1713. Details are also available at http://www.dcccd.edu/keystosuccess or http://www.dcccd.edu/llavesdelexito.