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History and Purpose
Las Llaves del Exito 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 Exito started with a fall semester event; it has expanded to include a spring program. In the fall, Las Llaves is a general program open to all interested students in grades six or higher 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 now include the Dallas County Community College District, the Dallas Independent School District and the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, as well as area colleges and universities.
In spring and fall 2007, Las Llaves programs attracted an average of 1,000 participants to each program (at the University of Texas at Dallas and Eastfield College, respectively), including lunch guests and walk-ins following the official registration period. Elementary, middle and high school students attended the fall 2007 program from Dallas ISD and more than 15 other school districts. The spring 2007 program, limited to juniors and seniors, also attracted DISD high schools, plus participants from more than 15 other school districts across the county. In 2005-2006, more than 200 students completed the FAFSA form, 20 families received help with tax preparation, and more than 180 people served as event volunteers.
For more information in either English or Spanish, call DCCCD at (214) 860-2432, or visit these Web sites: http://www.dcccd.edu/keystosuccess or http://www.dcccd.edu/llavesdelexito.