Esperanza has high hopes for new offices

(Plain Press, July 2007) On May 23, Esperanza, an agency whose primary focus is educational programs serving Hispanic youth, held an open house at its new facility on the 4th floor of the bank building at 3104 W. 25th (the southwest corner of W. 25th and Clark Avenue.) Esperanza’s new facility features a computer room, meeting rooms and office space.

Board President Oscar Vazquez said Esperanza will be working this summer with about 30 youths in an enhanced summer program designed to keep kids off the streets and encourage them to stay in school.

Vazquez said he was concerned about the extremely high dropout rate of Hispanic students in Cleveland. He said he was alarmed when he learned there is a higher drop out rate among girls than boys. Vazquez attributed this to pressure to work to help their families and also “a mentality amongst girls that their role is to have a family and stay at home.”

During the school year Esperanza works primarily with students from Buhrer, Gallagher and Lincoln West High School through its Stay in School for College and Career Opportunities (SISCO) Program. Other programs of Esperanza include the Hispanic Youth Leadership Program, the Prime Time for Reading Program and scholarship programs.

The new facility’s Community Computer Technology Resource Center “provides a free-access classroom for Microsoft Office training, internet access, and computer courses for Hispanic youth and adults,” according to a brochure given to guests at the opening.

Vazquez has a vision for the new space that Esperanza now occupies. He hopes to attract other nonprofit agencies to the facility with complementary programs to share services and resources. He hopes to attract programs to the two empty floors in the building to create a network of programs to better serve Esperanza students and their families.

Esperanza was formerly located in the May Dugan Center on Bridge Avenue.

(see photos here)


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