About Educational Opportunities for Utah's Children 

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Mission Statement

“Of all the civil rights for which the world has struggled and fought for 5000 years, the right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental. We must insist upon this to give our children the fairness of a start which will equip them with such an array of facts and such an attitude toward truth that they can have a real chance to judge what the world is and what its greater minds have thought it might be!”
   -W.E.B. DuBois (1949)

Ed Opps has a three-fold mission centered on providing young immigrants access to post-secondary education:

  • Educate the community regarding the experiences and potential contributions of young immigrants.
  • Advocate for immigrants in pursuit of higher education and provide resources and navigational tools to these students.
  • Motivate students by providing post-secondary scholarships for those who are not FAFSA-eligible.

 


Goals, Programs, and Activities 

Educational Opportunities for Utah’s Children (Ed Opps) is a non-profit corporation established in 2010 by veteran educators and community service providers. Ed Opps believes that education is the key factor that allows for full participation of immigrants in the mainstream society.  While services are provided to all under-represented students, Ed Opps’ primary purpose is to assist undocumented students (DREAMers) in gaining access to post-secondary education.

Ed Opps works with local organizations such as the Salt Lake City School District, Salt Lake Community College, University of Utah and the Utah State Office of Education to provide information to first-generation college students and their families.  Ed Opps also offers workshops for educators regarding the unique challenges that DREAMers encounter and the specific resources available to them.  In 2012 Ed Opps collaborated with a group of University of Utah professors to create the U-Dream Scholarship Fund, a fund specifically for undocumented students seeking college education.

Ed Opps also enjoys an excellent working relationship with the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City. IME Becas grants have been awarded through the Consulate for the last 5 years.

U-Dream Scholarships awarded since 2012 are listed below.

Number of u-dream scholarships awarded

funding


Board of Directors 

Walter Franco | President

David Martinez | Vice-President 

Ann Brewer | Secretary 

Simon Brewer | CPA Treasurer 

David Chavez | Board Member

Alonso Reyna | Board Member 

 


Our Goals

1. Educate underserved populations regarding educational and vocational opportunities.
Ed Opps hosts ongoing workshops and presentations for students and their families regarding post-secondary education and training, with an emphasis on resources available to non-FAFSA-eligible college students. Many immigrant parents have not had the opportunity for education in their native countries, may have limited English proficiency, work 2 or 3 jobs to support their children, and have not had exposure to college opportunities. We strive to educate the parents so that they are comfortable with the school system and can advocate for their children. We work specifically with students who are under-represented in post-secondary education to inform them of private scholarship options and programs that support first-generation college students.
Training is also provided for educators who serve Latino students, regarding the specific challenges they face in the education system and the resources that are available to assist them. In the last six yeats Ed Opps has made numerous presentations to teachers, counselors and administrators throughout Utah.

2. Advocate for underrepresented students in pursuit of higher education.
The mission of Ed Opps includes building bridges from both sides of a complex immigration issue.  The initial project, a photodocumentary exhibit entitled "DREAMers: Living in the Shadow of Hope" sought to increase compassion and understanding of mainstream society towards immigrant families by allowing personal stories to be told through word and image. The exhibit, now published as a book and funded by Ed Opps,  humanizes the experience of young immigrants and helps to combat negative stereotypes.  The public response to the exhibit/book continues to be very positive. A curriculum has been developed to accompany the exhibit or book when used in the schools.
As a result of this increased understanding and acceptance, students have been empowered to share their experiences and talents, pursue their ambitions and help train educators and professionals to better serve this population. Every Ed Opps presentation to educators includes a panel of bright, articulate students who speak readily of their struggles, their motivations and their successes in pursuing a college education.   These students have also provided excellent role modeling for younger students who question the value of staying in school or do not have the knowledge or resources needed to access higher education. 

3. Motivate students by providing post-secondary scholarships. 
Since some Latino students cannot access federal funding, or (in Utah) any private scholarships issued by a state institution, Ed Opps joined forces in 2012 with concerned University of Utah faculty members to create the U-DREAM Scholarship Fund. Ed Opps applied for and received a $20,000 start-up grant from the Consulate of Mexico’s IME Fellowship Program, intended for scholarships to Mexican students. This funding, combined with generous private donations, provided for 15 scholarships that were awarded in 2013 to Latino students from the University of Utah, Salt Lake Community College, Weber State University, Utah Valley University and the SJ Quinney College of Law. 
Word of the scholarship fund spread rapidly, and 140 students applied for the 2014 school year. Selection criteria is based on the student’s academic achievement, financial need and service to the community. Ed Opps scholars includes students of all ages from college freshmen to graduate students, and from 8 colleges/universities throughout Utah. Countries represented include students from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Brazil, and Chile. Majors include education, architecture, biology, engineering, law, medical sciences, fine arts and business.
A college degree changes not only a student’s life, but strengthens families and communities in years to come.  Every parent that goes to college increases the likelihood that the children will also go to college. Every skilled, educated employee adds value and stability to our community and economy. Every future generation will be positively impacted by the contributions of these hard-working, dedicated students who refused to give up their dreams.


ACTIVITIES TO DATE

2010
•DREAMers exhibit completed and displayed at Salt Lake City Main Library, University of Utah.
•College information workshops for high school students and families offered at Horizonte
•$1,000 scholarship awarded to SLCC (freshman ) student

2011
•DREAMers exhibit displayed at 5 schools in Salt Lake City School District, Salt Lake City Hall, Mestizo
•Classroom curriculum developed to accompany DREAMers exhibit to schools
•$1,000 scholarship awarded to continuing student at SLCC 

2012
•U-Dream scholarship fund created in collaboration with University of Utah faculty members
•DREAMers exhibit displayed at Sorenson Community Center, Centennial Jr High
•DREAMers  book published by Paragon Press
•DACA Workshop presented at Horizonte
•IME-Becas award of $20,000 

2013
•“Funding the Future” dinner in June; raised $10,000 for U-Dream Scholarship Fund; book sales for scholarship fund $2,200
• 11scholarships awarded to students at SLCC, U of U, UVU, Weber State University, J Quinney School of Law for spring semester; 4 additional scholarships awarded for fall 2013
•Presentations for educators at Utah NAME Conference and USOE Summer    Conference for Counselors and Adult education
•IME-Becas award of $10,000

2014
•Mexique Magnifique! Fundraising dinner sponsored by the Consulado de Mexico  raised $14,000
•Private donations and book sales for scholarship fund total $3,500
•18 scholarships awarded for spring semester 2014; four scholarship recipients graduated from Utah universities.
•Presentations for educators at Utah NAME Conference and USOE Summer Conference for Counselors and Adult education
•“Funding the Future II” dinner held in October.
•IME-Becas award of $25,500

2015
• Presentation for educators at Utah NAME Conference
• 29 scholarships awarded for spring, summer or fall semester
• Private donations and book sales for scholarship fund total $16,550
• “Funding the Future III” dinner held in November
• IME Becas/Juntos Podemos award of $15,000

2016
• Mexique Magnifique! Fundraising dinner sponsored by the Consulado de Mexico  raised $21,050.
• Private donations and book sales for scholarship fund total $12,200
• 29 scholarships awarded for spring, summer or fall semester for fall semester
• IME Becas award of $17,500

2017
• Private donations and book sales total $14,250 to date
• DREAMers exhibit displayed in 2 Davis County high schools
• 38 scholarships awarded for spring, summer or fall semesters