The Juntos Program

The Juntos Program An Extension Program’s Journey to Serving a Growing Community

By: Diana Urieta Photo provided by: NC State Juntos

A T T R I B U T I ON

The Juntos Program: An Extension Program’s Journey to Serving a Growing Community Copyright © Urieta, D. 2021, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). Published by Extension Foundation.

e-pub: 978-955687-04-1

Publish Date: 08/25/21

Citations for this publication may be made using the following:

Urieta, D. (2021). The Juntos Program: An Extension Program’s Journey to Serving a Growing Community (1 st ed). Kansas City: Extension Foundation. ISBN: 978-955687-04-1

Producer: Ashley S. Griffin

Peer Review Coordinator & Editorial Assistant: Heather Martin

Technical Implementer: Heather Martin

Welcome to The Juntos Program, An Extension Program’s Journey to Serving a Growing Community , a resource created for the Cooperative Extension Service and published by the Extension Foundation. We welcome feedback and suggested resources for this publication, which could be included in any subsequent versions. This work is supported by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information please contact:

Extension Foundation c/o Bryan Cave LLP One Kansas City Place

1200 Main Street, Suite 3800 Kansas City, MO 64105-2122 https://impact.extension.org/

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T A B L E O F CON T E N T S

Attribution .............................................................................................................................................. 2

Table of Contents..................................................................................................................................... 3

Meet the curator & contributors .............................................................................................................. 5

Meet the Case Study Providers................................................................................................................. 8

Acknowledgments ................................................................................................................................. 10

Introduction .......................................................................................................................................... 11 The Juntos Movement: An Immigrant Story Within Extension ........................................................................................ 11 Diana Urieta, Juntos Senior Director/Co-developer & Extension Specialist .................................................................... 12

Part 1: The Juntos Story................................................................................................................ 13

Goal ...................................................................................................................................................... 13

Initial Needs Assessment ....................................................................................................................... 13

Part 2: Growth & Sustainability at Juntos NC State University ...................................................... 15

Part 3: Case Studies: Juntos Coordinator Experiences ................................................................... 18

Part 4: Amplifying the Voices of Latino Immigrant Youth ............................................................. 23 Living in Two Worlds......................................................................................................................................................... 23 Student Media and Publications....................................................................................................................................... 24 Articles About Juntos NC Authors..................................................................................................................................... 24 Published Academic Research about Juntos NC Authors................................................................................................. 25

Part 5: Juntos Engagement: Marketing, Communication, & Best Practices .................................... 25

Best Practices: All Platforms................................................................................................................... 25

Best Practices: Facebook & Instagram .................................................................................................... 26

Best Practices: Facebook ........................................................................................................................ 27

Best Practices: Instagram ....................................................................................................................... 27

Best Practices: MailChimp...................................................................................................................... 28

Connect Extension National Juntos Platform .......................................................................................... 28

Ideas for Blog Posts and Other Content .................................................................................................. 28

Best Practices: Website.......................................................................................................................... 29

Best Practices: YouTube ......................................................................................................................... 29 Social Media Success Story: 2021 Day of Giving Campaign ............................................................................................. 30

Annual Engagement Timeline: August-July ............................................................................................. 31

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Facebook/Instagram ......................................................................................................................................................... 31 MailChimp Newsletters .................................................................................................................................................... 32 Connect Extension ............................................................................................................................................................ 32 Website............................................................................................................................................................................. 32 YouTube ............................................................................................................................................................................ 33

Part 6: Juntos Evaluation.............................................................................................................. 33

History .................................................................................................................................................. 33

Today .................................................................................................................................................... 33

Moving Forward .................................................................................................................................... 34

Best Practices ........................................................................................................................................ 34

Part 7: Examples of Program Findings, Impact, & Related Research Findings ................................. 35

Part 8: Supporting References ...................................................................................................... 37

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M E E T TH E CU R A TO R & CON T R I B U T O R S

The following individuals provided original content for this eFieldbook. They are experts in their fields, and their contributions are deeply appreciated.

Diana Urieta, Curator

Bianca Wall, Contributor & Case Study Provider

Diana Urieta, MSW, A Colombia-American, Diana immigrated to North Carolina at the age of seven with her parents and brother. Diana received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in social work from North Carolina State University. Her work with the Latino community started in her youth when her dad would ask her to join him at the local medical clinic, where she volunteered her time as an interpreter for families f rom her family’s church. Urieta has extensive experience working with underserved populations in public health, 0-16 education, and parenting education. She is one of the co-developers of the Juntos 4-H Program, where she has managed program development, implementation, evaluation, training and coaching, and sustainability efforts in North Carolina and nationally. Her approach to working in Juntos has focused on building bridges within communities, resourcing the family unit, and bringing light to the assets that bicultural and bilingual identity brings to the United States.

Bianca Wall is the Assistant Director of the Juntos Program. She has been an advocate for education for youth and families since 2012 in various capacities across the world. Her first job out of college was working with the Juntos program in rural Wayne County as a coordinator. After a few years with Juntos, she left to live and work in Kuwait, South Korea, and Hawai’i. She work ed in other cultures with different populations and experienced professional life through the lens of different customs. She returned to the Triangle area in late 2019 as the assistant director of the Juntos Program, which she believes makes a difference for students and parents and the staff.

Bianca Wall Assistant Director Juntos Program NC State University bdwall2@ncsu.edu

Diana Urieta, MSW Juntos Senior Director/Co-Developer Juntos Extension Specialist Division of Academic and Student Affairs

NC State University dmurieta@ncsu.edu

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Karyl Askew, Contributor

Abimael Torres Rivera, Contributor

Dr. Karyl Askew is the owner and principal evaluator of Karyl Askew Consulting, LLC. The mission of her program evaluation consulting practice is to create connections and understanding among program partners. Since 2005, Karyl has worked alongside program developers and community members to co- create and co-lead the evaluation of local, statewide, and national initiatives. She is passionate about inviting multicultural perspectives into the program design and program evaluation process by honoring the dignity and value of each contributing voice. Her career is devoted to supporting the next generation of social justice changemakers and creating equitable spaces that affirm the cultural wealth of marginalized communities. She says that it has been a gift to journey and grow with the Juntos program and to support program evaluation.

Abimael Torres Rivera is the Juntos Program Assistant. He originally joined the Juntos Program as a work-study student in 2013, when he was a freshman at North Carolina State University. He worked for the program for his 4.5 years at the university, doing administrative work, planning events, leading a mentor program, and more. Once he graduated, he went on to do some international work and gained additional experience working with disenfranchised groups. He returned to Juntos in the fall of 2020 as a program assistant.

Abimael Torres Rivera Juntos Program Assistant

NC State University atorres4@ncsu.edu

Karyl Askew Program Evaluator Karyl Askew Consulting, LLC info@karylaskewpdh.com

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Aaron Weibe, Contributor

Aaron Weibe is the Communications and Engagement Manager for the Extension Foundation. He supports communications, marketing, outreach, and engagement efforts for the Extension Foundation’s New Technologies for Ag Extension, Impact Collaborative, and Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching and Engagement programs. He also oversees the implementation and management of Connect Extension and the National Registry of Cooperative Extension Programs and Assets, hosts the Connect Extension podcast, and manages audio and video productions. He also is an adjunct faculty member at the Greensboro College Department of Music. Aaron’s career began in 2008 with the United States Air Force, where he worked with the U.S. Air Force Regional Bands, part of Air Force Public Affairs. He was stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, VA, and Yokota Air Base in Tokyo, Japan. He also deployed to Southwest Asia to support the Department of Defense and Department of State outreach initiatives to allies across the region. Aaron has a bachelor's degree in music performance from Greensboro College, Greensboro, NC, and a master’s degree in communications from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in communications from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.

Aaron Weibe Communications and Engagement Manager Extension Foundation aaronweibe@extension.org

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M E E T TH E C A S E S TU D Y P RO V I D E R S

Kathy Rivera, Sampson, NC Juntos

Jessica Aguilar, Pender County, NC Juntos

Kathy is from New Jersey and made North Carolina her home in 2004. She and her husband, Luis, have five children, so education is a priority in their home, which is why they are huge supporters of Juntos. Rivera joined the Juntos team as a parent and coordinator when her oldest daughter, Naomi, was in high school because she wanted to learn how to navigate the journey to higher education. Since Rivera and her family joined Juntos in 2011, three of her children have graduated from high school and attended four-year universities. Her fourth child is a high school junior and a first-year community college student, and the youngest is in middle school. In December 2018, Rivera graduated from the University of Mount Olive with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and a minor in professional and technical communications. Rivera believes that Juntos inspires youth and adults. Her passion for educating parents and students led her to become a Community Resiliency Model Instructor and a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor this summer. Her passion for serving others and learning led her to begin a new chapter in education at Liberty University, where she is earning a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Rivera feels that her work as a school liaison and Juntos coordinator are a perfect match for her because they allow her to be a piece of the puzzle among the Latinx families in her community.

Jessica Aguilar is the Pender County Juntos coordinator and oversees programming at Pender High School. She joined the Juntos team in 2016 as a student volunteer and became the coordinator in 2018. She received her bachelor's degree in social work from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Aguilar works primarily with college and high school students who identify as Latinx and families from immigrant backgrounds. Her goal is to help students have an easier passage to attain their goals and familiarize them with available resources. She also works at the UNCW Centro Hispano, where she recruits college volunteers to engage her Juntos students in Pender County. Being the daughter of immigrants is a core reason that she continues to help other students who may come from the same background as she does to deal with obstacles that come with being the first to graduate high school and pursue higher education. Aguilar plans to pursue a master’s degree in public administration and continue her Hispanic/Latinx and immigrant community involvement.

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Eddie Reyes , Jerome County, Idaho Juntos

Dr. Crystal Chen Lee

Eduardo (Eddie) Reyes is the Juntos 4-H Program Coordinator in Jerome, Idaho. He has been a coordinator for about four years. In his first year, he worked with a cohort of 42 youth and is now working with 81 students in eighth through eleventh grades. The Juntos 4-H Club component is slightly different from others around the nation because it is an elective class at the high school. Students receive one credit for every semester they take the Juntos 4-H class. This allows for an intense level of skill building, leadership development, and academic success coaching to take place. He is grateful for the support of his program manager, Gretchen Manker; the 4-H Coordinator, Tina Miller; and the assistant Juntos coordinator, Marcela Contreras. Contreras is also a Juntos parent. He also credits Jerome School District for allowing him to work with this program.

Dr. Crystal Chen Lee is an assistant professor of English Education in the College of Education at North Carolina State University. Her research lies at the nexus of literacy, teacher education, community engagement, and marginalized youth. She is also the founding director and principal investigator of The Literacy and Community Initiative (LCI), a collaboration between the College of Education and The Friday Institute of Educational Innovation that partners with youth- serving community organizations to examine and empower youth voices. Juntos NC has been a long-standing partner with LCI, and she is passionate about amplifying the stories and voices of Latino youth in NC. Dr. Lee began teaching as a high school English teacher in New Jersey and a literacy instructor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Montclair State University. She has also served as an International Leadership Fellow in the United States Congress and an education intern at International Justice Mission, a non-profit global organization partnering with local justice systems to end violence against people living in poverty. Dr. Lee is also a Faculty Fellow of the Friday Institute of Educational Innovation and an NCSU Community-Engaged Fellow. She received her Ed.D. from Columbia University.

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A C K NOWL E D GM E N T S

Others contributing to this eFieldbook in critical ways include Ashley Griffin, project manager; Heather Martin, peer review coordinator and editorial assistant; and Dr. Scott Reed and Dr. Rick Klemme Extension Foundation’s New Technologies in Agriculture Extension (NTAE) Catalyst; and Dr. Rose Hayden -Smith, Extension Foundation’s 2020 Fellow for New Technologies in Agriculture Extension, who provided content suggestions for this publication. We are grateful to all our Juntos states who ensured we had the most up-to- date information about the great work they are doing with their own Juntos youth and families. Special thank you to our peer reviewers for their time in improving this eFieldbook. Juntos Program Co-founders and Co-developers Cintia Aguilar and Dr. Andrew Behnke were Juntos co-founders and co-developers of the initial Juntos high school workshop curriculum. They joined forces in 2007 as Extension colleagues with a passion to serve the growing Latino community in North Carolina. Diana Urieta joined them in 2011 and the three are co- developers of the four components of the program. Since 2019 Aguilar and Behnke serve as advisors for the program.

Cintia Aguilar

Latino Programs Manager - Community and Rural Development

NC State University

caguila@ncsu.edu

Andrew Behnke, Ph.D., CFLE

Director of the School of Family & Consumer Sciences

Texas State University

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I N T RO D U C T I ON

The Juntos Movement: An Immigrant Story Within Extension

Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States, and in a Pew Research Center survey in 2016, Latino voters ranked education a top priority (Pew Research Center, 2016). This eFieldbook presents an Extension-born program that focuses on a growing population in North Carolina and that today is a national effort. The Juntos Program takes an asset-based approach centered on “the family/la fami lia” in designing services and defining success. In 2007, the Juntos team surveyed the Latinx communities in North Carolina to determine what topic they

wanted to know more about and what resources they needed. Like the Pew Research study did nearly ten ye ars later, our survey revealed that Latinos’ number one priority was to understand and learn how to navigate U.S. school systems so that their young people could reach their academic goals.

Since 2007 the Juntos program has evolved in programming and grown its reach beyond North Carolina. Journey with us as we look at an Extension program that sees an America that is multi-racial, family-centered, bicultural, and bilingual. An America with first-generation students and their families who are rich with potential and poised to change the narrative of opportunity in this country. An America where respect and honor for culture, heritage, and language are assets and not deficits.

“ Juntos focuses on educating the parents and the students, but also it allows them to and helps

them maintain their customs, their Latin American heritage.”

— Juntos father

Throughout this eFieldbook, we acknowledge and use various terminology to refer to the Latino(a)/Latinx/Hispanic population. Latinx is the newest, gender-neutral term used in higher education settings, among some college-age students, and in literature. Still, we respect the use of Hispanic, Latino, Latina, and a person’s country of origin, which many of our families prefer to use. This eFieldbook is about the Juntos journey and how others can learn from what we have experienced and developed. In Part 1, we give you the history of Juntos. Part 2 describes how the program has grown with a vision for sustainability and offers best practices we learned along the way. In Part 3, you will hear the voices of Juntos coordinators, reflecting on their Juntos Program experiences and offering advice to other Juntos partners. In Part 4, a Juntos partner shares how the partnership has allowed space for Juntos students to publish their stories on multiple platforms through the Literacy and Community Initiative writing program. In Part 5, we give you detailed program marketing and communication tips and share our new

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National Juntos road trip series podcast, and in Part 6, we look at the past, present, and future of program evaluation. We hope this eFieldbook will support Extension professionals as they start their own Juntos Program and/or provide useful lessons to help strengthen their Extension work.

Diana Ur ieta, Juntos Senior Director/Co-developer & Extension Special ist

A parent’s perspective of Juntos

VIDEO

I am Diana Urieta. I am the daughter of immigrant parents. I was born in Colombia, South America, and moved to the United States when I was seven years old. I am very proud to represent two countries and to say that I’m from there and here. My values of family, faith, culture, and hard work have been part of my socialization. My passion for Juntos is driven by the privilege I had to be raised by my immigrant parents, Manuel and Ninfa Urieta, who remind me every day why Juntos matters and who knew better than to allow their children to lose their

native language and culture. They are parents who relied on their limited English and their children’s ability to speak the language to gather as much information as they could to ensure that their children and their children’s school knew they were committed parents. There is no doubt that my parents' commitment to seeing me succeed drives my educational journey. In Juntos today, I still find that the golden nugget to our student’s success is their parents, la familia . Juntos is needed in our communities, as it brings the 20/20 vision to what is often a blurry process for many of our immigrant families. My Juntos Story My passion for Juntos began with my American public school experience in second grade. I spent my elementary school years as an ELL (English Language Learner) student, and I am grateful for my ELL teachers. I was also placed in special education classes due to my delayed English skills. Being in ESL and special ed somehow stigmatized me as “not smart.” I was removed from ELL and s pecial ed in middle school, which I assume now was based on some tests I took, but I still carried the stigma of being a past ELL and special ed student. In ninth grade, I was placed back in ELL classes and had to advocate for myself to take college prep and AP (Advanced Placement) classes and leave the ELL classroom. Although my parents did not know about the stigma or my need to advocate for myself, their message was clear: Don’t be afraid to work hard to get what you want. Together, Juntos, we knew college was my goal, and they blindly empowered me and believed in what I was capable of accomplishing. I owe my college degrees to the esfuerzo (effort) and sacrifice of my parents. Impact I have seen other people with stories like mine in my time with Juntos, and I have seen people who have had greater challenges than I did. Still, there is one big difference: Our Juntos parents and young people are empowered to take their blinders off and embark on the high school journey with knowledge and resources in hand. Place yourself for a minute in the shoes of our immigrant parents, driven by the desire to give their family a better life, but at the same time seeing their children assimilate to a new culture at a speed they

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cannot match. Think about what that does to the parent-child relationship. When the child has more knowledge than the parent, the roles are reversed. Juntos is a place where parents gain back their role as the parent and where the student can again be the child and not the one carrying the load of all the information. Juntos is a place where the intentional partnerships that grow among Extension, school systems, and community investors mean that Juntos families are not walking the journey alone.

Part 1: The Juntos Story

GO A L

North Carolina State University (NCSU) launched the Juntos Program in 2007, with a plan to provide high school Latinx students and their families with the knowledge, skills, and resources to ensure high school graduation and increase college access and attendance rates. High school Juntos graduates leave with a their own future plan and a toolbox for achieving their plan. Juntos comes from the Spanish word for “together” and exemplifies our theory that by brin ging schools together with students, families, and community members, we can alter the course of academic success for Latino students.

I N I T I A L N E E D S A S S E S S M E N T

Juntos surveyed 501 Latinx high schoolers from around the state attending the NCSHP’s 2008 Hispanic Educational Summit to discover why students

How Juntos started

VIDEO

were dropping out and what support they needed to make it to college and succeed there (Behnke, Gonzalez, & Cox, 2010). Juntos also conducted detailed focus groups, needs assessments, and community asset mapping activities in North Carolina. These assessments found that Latinx families’ most significant challenge was understanding and navigating the U.S. school system (Behnke, 2008). Since then, we have conducted focus groups with and surveys of low-income Latinx youth and parents to understand their needs and the best practices that support them academically. Today the program serves students in grades eight through twelve, as developers saw a need to start the program in middle school. Juntos has embraced collaboration as a way to bring Latino families to the center of the conversation about equity in education. Partners including National 4-H; USDA; local, state, and national foundations; various land-grant universities; and Cooperative Extension n etworks have invested in Juntos’ implementation, growth, and sustainability. The staff consists of two full-time positions: a senior director, who focuses on national growth and sustainability, and an assistant director, who steers the North Carolina program. This team is extended by more than 20 part-time, passionate staff who provide training, administrative support, curricula, coaching, evaluation, program implementation in North Carolina, and resources across our national network, while ensuring the sustainability of the North Carolina flagship program. The national growth adds to the number of professionals now focused on serving the Latino community through Juntos.

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Juntos Timeline

Dr. Andrew Behnke from Family and Consumer Science reached out to his colleague Cintia Aguilar to discuss outreach to the Latino community and the high dropout rate of Latino students in the state. Education became their outreach focus after a series of community surveys, and in 2007, Behnke and Aguilar piloted the High School Workshop Series. From this point on, the foundation of Juntos became family engagement. Organic and small-scale workshops took place in schools that welcomed the pilot workshop series. Juntos received a small grant that allowed the workshops to start in three rural North Carolina counties. In addition, youth clubs and summer youth programming began, thanks to support from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Diana Urieta joined the development team. During this period, the Department of Public Instruction and National 4-H Council funds allowed Juntos to establish the Juntos 4-H Clubs and Juntos Summer Programming (Academy) as program components. These components enabled the program to follow students throughout their high school years, with programming all year long. Oregon State University was the first Land-Grant University outside of North Carolina to imp lement Juntos as a primary program to engage Latinx families. Through OSU’s Open Campus initiative, distinctive partnerships with community colleges leveraged resources designed to add fidelity and impact in Oregon communities. Juntos OSU has a unique and successful program because it sits within University Outreach and Engagement. Dr. Scott Reed, the vice provost responsible for the division, observed, “By utilizing a proven curriculum developed at NCSU, we were able to accelerate the establishment of Juntos and immediately improve retention and graduation rates of participating Latinx youth .” Their sustainability vision for Juntos is one that all Juntos states are learning from today. In partnership with Hispanics In Philanthropy and local organizations with a similar vision to Juntos’ s, Juntos applied for a grant from the Lumina Foundation. This funding stream allows Juntos to provide training to and oversight of the Juntos family engagement component and to establish the final element of Juntos, Success Coaching and Mentoring. Research shows that helping eighth graders transition into high school is critical to reducing high school dropout rates. A partnership with Oklahoma and Iowa through CYFAR funds allowed for all four program components to be implemented, with four cohorts. Juntos was able to launch the middle school family workshop series. Respectfully, Oklahoma and Iowa parted ways to pursue evaluation methods and programming that best served their tenure and community. The National 4-H Council partnered with Juntos NC State in 2015 through New York Life Foundation funds to focus on serving Latino youth. Thanks to this partnership, Juntos 4- H started in New York City and San Antonio, TX, in 2015, followed by Florida in 2016, and in 2017 the last two states were added to this project, including a total of six counties in California and in Cook County, Illinois. As of summer 2021, all but Texas continue to serve Latino families through the Juntos program after funding ended. Idaho and North Carolina joined forces and received a joint CYFAR grant; other states have followed as they apply for CYFAR funding to start their own Juntos CYFAR projects. A new wave of states, including Nevada, Nebraska, Indiana, Colorado, Wisconsin, Washington, and Missouri, have joined the Juntos family and bring with them 4-H and Family and Consumer Science powerhouse professionals. They are committed to the mission of Juntos. Juntos 4-H provided them with the curriculum to take their efforts to the next level.

2006

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014 – 2017

2018 – 2021

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Part 2: Growth & Sustainability at Juntos NC State University

In 2019, a sustainability effort between the College of Agriculture and Life Science/State Extension and the University’s Division of Academic and Student Affairs allowed two full-time staff funded by the university provost and one part-time staff position funded by the State Extension. These positions support North Carolina and national Juntos growth and sustainability in training, coaching, grant management, evaluation, partnership development, and marketing and outreach.

National Juntos Model See NC State Juntos’s role in leading the national Juntos movement. Juntos States Map Click on a state to access the name and contact information of the Juntos lead from that state.

RESOURCES

Through the investment of the National 4-H Council and NC State Extension NC Juntos leadership was able to plan the first-ever national Juntos Convening. This event would bring all Juntos state professionals and youth together for three days to set the national Juntos m ovement’s 2020 vision. Due to the pandemic, the Convening was virtual and took place March 25 – 26, 2020. We hosted advocates, educators, higher education leaders, funders, and Juntos students and alumni from more than ten states. We met our goal, and Juntos is no longer a project that is here today and gone tomorrow.

Our Convening agenda addressed two essential topics: why Juntos matters and why Juntos is here to stay. On the first day, we talked about why Juntos matters, with Juntos investors and national leaders presenting their case for the work. The second day brought all Juntos state professionals together to focus on setting the stage for the future of Juntos, as we addressed why Juntos is here to stay. We discussed program components, National Juntos common measures, accountability, and

Juntos Convening videos

Find multiple videos

VIDEO

communication. We closed the Convening and invited all guests to our Facebook live ceremony, which featured a policymaker, a Latinx educator, and Juntos alumni, who addressed why they believe Juntos is here to stay. During the two days, a group of Juntos 4-Hers from several states had their convening session in the evenings . The youth looked at the heart of Juntos and mapped out their vision for the program’s future. They heard how their culture brings value to their leadership skills and, together, voted on a civic engagement project to take back to their clubs to have the project implemented among Juntos states. The national Juntos office at NC State has developed an organic and structured process of training, coaching, networking, building community, and leading as Juntos grows into more states. Below are the steps that states should consider as they plan to bring Juntos to their communities.

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Needs assessment: Look at census data, K- 12 educational data, Land Grant University Latino students percentages, and vision to grow and retain these students. Identify the communities that have the resources, leadership, and the will to get the program started. Potential partners: Create a wish list of partners to support this work — for example, community colleges and local industries, local Hispanic centers/organizations, partners with vision and passion within your university, statewide and local efforts or committees that support this work, and funders supporting this kind of work. The will: Look for those within Extension and 4-H who can build a team committed to the work and a vision to build bridges for the communities you will serve through the program. Following these steps leads to a conversation with Juntos NC Senior Director around training, coaching, and building your Juntos team and vision for your state. Juntos NC leadership will guide you through the following steps: Identify the lead(s) or your Juntos state team, which will drive your program’s training, implementation, and growth. Examples can be state-level 4-H professionals or Extension professional(s) outside of 4-H, sites or counties that have an interest and need for the program and the support of local extension leadership and

2019 Juntos national training for Idaho, Washington, and Oregon (adults only)

2019 Juntos national training group with Juntos 4-Hers in Idaho

the school system(s). North Carolina and Oregon, for example, have a Juntos state professional who oversees the work throughout the state. In Florida, the team includes a regional 4-H leader and two county 4-H educators committed to working in two counties and supporting its growth within their state. Meet with the NCSU Juntos office to discuss training dates and establish a partnering contract between the two universities. Juntos teams can either plan to travel to a state where a scheduled training is hosted or organize thei r own state’s Juntos training, with at least 20 participants.

Once at least two individuals from a state are trained, they can lead their future state Juntos training to ensure fidelity to their state’s Juntos program vision.

A state’s Juntos team is the n added to the national Juntos community, giving it access to Juntos curriculum, resources, coaching, training opportunities, webinars, and national networking calls.

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The process of scaling Juntos to a national level has been evolving, and there have been many growing pains that continue to improve the process. Below are some lessons learned along the way.

Don’t say yes to everyone. Professionals/partners can be demanding and have their agendas. Slow down and ask questions. Are the people asking for the program doing so for the right reasons? Have they done their research and needs assessment? Maybe create an assessment tool on readiness. What does it look like to add another community (school, city, county, state) to our work? Do we have the capacity and support?

Program fidelity and evaluation are a must, but allow for flexibility that supports the environment and resources of each state/community implementing the program.

Have clear guidelines and talk with your university legal team, marketing team, and Extension leadership as the program scales up.

You are not going to serve every need. Focus on your vision and mission, or you risk losing the focus of why you started this work.

The experts are the participants; go to them before making significant changes to the structure and development of the program. Parent and youth focus groups and youth leadership opportunities have allowed Juntos NC to listen before taking action on program changes that will affect the community we want to serve.

Interested groups need to be aware that programs like Juntos are more than just a curriculum and need to be willing to invest time, personnel, and resources to ensure its success.

Trust, respect, partnership, time, investment, honesty, and communication are keywords that are leading the national Juntos movement within Juntos state teams.

It’s not about having the perfect program but about persevering through growing pains.

Here is an example of how the national Juntos movement is spreading its impact:

A migrant education teacher from North Carolina traveled to Oregon to attend the National Migrant Education Conference. She participated in a workshop led by the Oregon Juntos team on their Juntos Program. They directed this teacher to the Juntos NC office, and a partnership was developed. Three years later, this teacher has run the program successfully with sustainability efforts made by the county migrant education program. Due to this example of success, other migrant education county leadership wants to follow suit. This same migrant education teacher met the Juntos team from Idaho, which runs a successful Juntos credit course/class during school hours. Juntos NC team brought this successful and sustainable strategy to our school superintendent, where the migrant education teacher has shown success. Approval was granted to start the first Juntos one- credit class in the fall, implementing Juntos 4-H clubs and success coaching. These examples of innovation and connection will continue to take shape as our Juntos states learn from each other and have great partnerships.

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Part 3: Case Studies: Juntos Coordinator Experiences

To tell the Juntos story, it is vital to get the perspectives of the people on the ground who are working with the students and families each day in their specific counties. Coordinators are the lifeblood of the Juntos program and directly provide resources and information to the participants. They form partnerships with school staff and administrators and local community organizations to create sustainability and access to information for the Juntos families. We asked Kathy Rivera, Bianca Wall, Eddie Reyes, and Jessica Aguilar — all of whom are current or former Juntos coordinators — to talk to us about their passion for the work and tell us how they advanced the program in their respective counties.

Q: What’s your fondest memory of being a Juntos coordinator? Kathy Rivera “ Witnessing how Juntos truly affects a family and not just the student. Three years ago, during our Milestone

Celebration, we had the honor of celebrating a parent who graduated earlier that week with her high school diploma. The parent shared with me that all the encouragement and information she received during the six-week high school workshop series to help her son

actually helped her. The constant reminder of ’si se puede’ (Yes, it is possible.) for the students motivated her to complete the academic coursework for a high school diploma in an adult program.”

Indiana’s first Juntos 4 -H Summer Academy in 2021

Bianca Wall “The times I spent with the students at Summer Academy or Camp Rockfish (a leadership camp that was held in North Carolina). It was incredible to watch these students who had mostly never experienced a camp before bond and realize that they were not alone and shared common experiences with other students across the state. Those weeks were always transformative not only for the students but for us as a staff, as well.” Eddie Reyes “There ar e many wonderful memories that I have had since being a Juntos coordinator, but one that sticks out is when I had the opportunity to visit North Carolina and meet coordinators from other parts of the nation. I love what I do, so meeting other individuals who share that same passion and desire was amazing. We had the opportunity to get to know each other personally and professionally, as well as share advice and our expertise with one another.” Jessica Aguilar "S eeing our students during our ‘Love Yourself’ family night and experiencing the vulnerability between each student and family. Part of this workshop included having the student write a letter to themselves and asking them to read out loud to their peers; being vulnerable is often seen as a weakness, but in that moment, each student was able to show strength by telling part of their story and sharing a part of themselves with the group. We also allowed parents an opportunity to write a letter to their children about the love and support they had for them. This was when parents showed strength, too,

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because speaking to children this way is not common in their households. This entire workshop opened doors for parents and youth to connect at a more intimate level and work on building communication with one another.”

Q: What are the five tips you would give to other Juntos coordinators?

Kathy

1. Kids are born leaders. They may not lead in the fashion we want them to lead, but a leader is a guide. Therefore, as coordinators, we need to guide our kids to be exceptional leaders. As they learn to be club leaders, they will learn to appreciate the club, take ownership of it, and hopefully become the greatest advocate for their club. 2. Make your club known within your schools, school district,

and community. Be creative with community services to ensure your club serves different groups — the Juntos 4-H Clinton Club partners with our elementary schools during kindergarten registration and Read Across America. We partner with our local police department to serve our community by hosting a Latino Town Hall meeting. 3. Parent chaperones/volunteers are still fantastic in middle and high school. Have a list of six or seven board-approved parent volunteers that can chaperone trips and events. By having this many, you can cycle through the list without one parent feeling like they are ALWAYS doing something for the club. 4. There is no ‘ model ’ club. We (coordinators) all do things differently yet still meet our goals. Don't be afraid to ask what others are doing and tweak things to fit your club. One size will not fit all when

working with teenagers who have different needs, wants, and dreams. 5. When having a family event, use it as an opportunity for your parents to meet school personnel. Always invite principals and vice principals. I always ask the superintendent, principals, vice principals, and school board members to come to our Milestone Celebration — for various reasons, such as to allow parents to feel comfortable being around school administration (aside from when a child is in trouble) and so school administrators can see everything Juntos is doing. Occasionally, I allow teachers to join us if

2018 Family Night celebration for Juntos North Carolina

there is a particular parent they have been trying to meet with and if I know the parent will be at a Juntos event. Just don't make it a habit because then the parent or the student can pull away from family nights.”

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Bianca

1. “Recognize and take care of the people who help you out along the way. I often would bring donuts, kind notes, or a treat to the secretaries at the schools or counselors that I formed relationships with. 2. Make yourself and your club known in the community. Attend local community events and invite your students/parents to set up an info booth/activity. This is a chance for them to share their culture and club with the community. More exposure is better and social media is a valuable tool for this. 3. Make partnerships within Cooperative Extension and other local organizations that could offer services to your families. Offer to help them at their events, and hopefully, they will return the favor. I assisted the local Cooperative Extension with the county fair and brought Juntos students and parents so they could experience it, as well. This program cannot be done by you alone. 4. Find a mentor in the community who has your and the family’s best interests in mind. You need a sounding board for your ideas and someone who can give you honest feedback. 5. Building relationships is the key to the success of your program, and communication is the most important piece of that key. Always be open with your partners/ families/students about what you are able and unable to do.”

Eddie

1. “As a Juntos coordinator, one of the first things I highly recommend is setting boundaries. We love our students and want to help them with whatever they need, but we get caught up. We need to take care of ourselves and take time off to be at our best for the benefit of our youth. 2. Never over-commit; we want to make

everything as easy as possible or provide all the resources we can, but we have to make sure not to promise too much. I’ve done this before, and all it does is negatively impact your relationship with a student because they trust you. 3. Share your story. We all have gone through ups and downs in life, and I’ve seen how youth

appreciate when you share your story with them and tell them about how imperfect life is. Everything I do in the classroom with the students, I always relate to my personal experience or to the experience of someone that I know so that youth are aware of the real-life consequences of their actions. 4. Empower your youth. Push kids to step outside their comfort zones

and to not fear failure. When I started, I didn’t want our youth to fail, and I would do as much as possible not to put them in uncomfortable situations until I realized it was doing them no good. 5. Never assume. No matter what the situation is, always ask or observe a student or situation before reacting. I’ve had circumstances where I have assumed, and all it did was put me in a tough situation.”

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Jessica

1. ”Build rapport right away with the families you serve to create a trust for a strong relationship with one another. 2. Be very clear with the youth you serve about what kind of support and services you can provide for them, so they have a realistic expectation for what you can help them with. 3. Set boundaries with youth in order for them to know what you can and cannot offer as support. Sometimes youth see you as a friend because they trust you, but as the adult, you have to make sure they know the difference. This is very important for you and the youth. 4. Be adaptable. Every youth has a specific background, and you will have to provide different resources and create a curriculum based on the needs of the students you are serving. 5. Let the families you serve know that you are required to keep your conversations with them confidential. This lets them know that it’s saf e to talk with you and can make a huge difference for the family and students you are working with.”

Q: What has been the biggest surprise for you as a Juntos coordinator?

Kathy “ The deep passion I have developed for helping families. It is so easy to help someone who wants help, but the greatest reward comes from helping those who feel and think of themselves as helpless. The most unexpected thing has not been knowing that I have touched the lives of 40+ students and families on their journey across the high school graduation stage, but knowing how the students and their families have touched my life and that of my family. ” Bianca “ I had never heard of a curandero (medicine man) before, and one day while conducting a home visit with one of my students, I witnessed a curandero performing a healing remedy on one of the parents. Working with Juntos brought many cultural and traditional experiences that I, as an anthropology major and La tina, have enjoyed learning about.” Eddie “The COVID - 19 pandemic. It’s something that has affected all of us at different levels. COVID-19 has taken jobs, well-being, family members, and friends. Since the pandemic, we have all struggled with something as a result. Right now the biggest thing I’ve seen is a lack of motivation and effort from not only youth but adults. I feel burned out and exhausted, and I know others feel the same, but we have to stay strong and make sure we help others around us. Times w ill get better, and we will get better.” Jessica “ Having a group of students I worked with who initially did not see the value in education transition into believing that they could accomplish whatever goals they had set for themselves. Many of these students came from a background in which they had been working since they were young and did not believe there was anything other than a hard-labor job for them. After participating in the Juntos program and attending campus tours to schools such as the University of North Carolina Wilmington and NC State University, they began to see and think about how attainable an education was. Even the students who thought they could never get into a college began the process of FAFSA, RDS, and college applications. The graduating class of 2019 was the group in which I saw the biggest transformations, and I worked diligently with them to help them attain their goals, but this was simply because the program changed their perspective and gave them an opportunity to dream big and aim for it.”

Q: What is one of the most important lessons have you learned being a Juntos coordinator?

Kathy “ That most parents do want to help their students be successful. Sometimes we (school staff or even coordinators) equate parental absenteeism with a parent who does not care for education. There are a few

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