High Schools

Congrats, Grads!

Graduates from Roosevelt (top) and Benson Polytechnic (bottom) high schools hold their diplomas and sport Escalera stolls.

Latino Network is proud to announce 100% of our Escalera seniors graduated from high school in June! Congratulations!

Our high school programs promote positive cultural identity and academic success in students’ academic journey and beyond. Escalera focuses on creating a supportive academic and social community for juniors and seniors to help them graduate and focus on their futures. Each cohort ranges between 20 to 25 students, and all students develop deep friendships and a sense of community throughout the two-year program. 

We asked Santos Herrera – our School Based Programs Manager – if he wanted to personally congratulate the grads. Here’s what he had to say:

"Graduating from high school was not a dream come true. It was a goal you achieved. Every homework assignment, every quiz, every test, every group project was a step toward your goal. I want you to take a moment to acknowledge that I did not write a single scholarship essay for you or took a single quiz or test for you. You did it, and that is why your name is on the diploma.
You may not be 100 percent sure about what is coming next in life, but one thing you can be sure of, and that is you have the tools to find the answers you need. Ask for help. Take risks. Take the time to get to know people. You and I did not know each other when we began this journey, during your junior year, and through meeting twice a week, we were able to build trust and comfort in one another. 
I promised you my very best, and you returned the favor. Do not be afraid to replicate that with people you meet on your way to the future. I love all of you and want you to know I am proud of you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life."

We couldn’t be more proud of you grads! We can’t wait to see what’s in store for your bright futures!

Escalera 2015-2016 By the Numbers:

44 seniors enrolled
100% graduation rate

43 enrolled in college
1 enrolled in Electrician Apprenticeship program

3 schools: Madison, Benson Polytechnic, and Roosevelt High School

Latino Network Joins Coalition for Communities of Color and Stand for Children in Supporting Initiative Petition 65

Today, the Latino Network of Oregon, the Coalition of Communities of Color, and Stand for Children Oregon announced their lead role as coalition sponsors for Initiative Petition 65 (IP 65). They head up a growing list of supporters like Adelante Mujeres, Benson Tech Foundation and Native American Youth and Family Center campaigning to improve Oregon’s high school graduation rate, and career and college readiness.


As the economy grows, IP 65 will target new money to Oregon’s most pressing problem—the state’s critically low graduation rate. If passed this November, it will directly fund proven high school that will increase student success. It will expand career-technical education (CTE) programs and college-credit courses, and implement proven dropout prevention strategies across Oregon.

“Oregon’s high school graduation rate is one of the lowest in the country, and last year, only 66 percent of kids of color graduated on time, a full 10 points behind white students,” said Julia Meier, executive director of the Coalition of Communities of Color. “It is time to take action to help Oregon’s students, particularly our most vulnerable students, because they cannot afford for us to wait any longer.”

Oregon’s public schools have great kids, dedicated teachers and hardworking staff, but the numbers show that our high schools are ill-equipped to serve our students, especially students of color:

  • Last year, over 2,500 kids of color dropped out of high school in Oregon, at rates significantly higher than their white peers, according to the Oregon Department of Education.
  • Only 15 percent of black students, 16 percent of Pacific Islander students, 21 percent of Hispanic students, and 22 percent of American Indian students leave community college with a certificate or degree, according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.

However, at schools where students have access to career technical education, college-level coursework and dropout prevention programs, students of color fare far better in high school and college. For example, a  report released by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) found that CTE students are 15.5 percent more likely to graduate high school in four years than students statewide.  Students of color benefit even more. The graduation rates for African American students are 24 percent higher than those of African American students statewide, 21 percent higher for Latino CTE students, and 23 percent higher for Native American CTE students.

“Students of color cannot wait around any longer for adults to do something about Oregon’s disturbing graduation rate,” says Carmen Rubio, executive director of the Latino Network. “This initiative quickly creates opportunities that will support students in succeeding in high school and college. We are proud to call ourselves a coalition partner.”

CONTACT: Kelsey Cardwell

kelsey.cardwell@gmail.com | 425-753-0461