Fronteras Unidas (United Borders)

I am the founder/creator of this idea.

Photo of Cassaundra Martinez
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Written by

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth

08/28/1996

Help us stay in touch!

919-368-7893 300 Gentle Stream Lane Apt. 318 NC: Raleigh (27603)

Date You Started Your Project Started

9/19/2019

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Communities of color face unique and difficult situations that impose barriers on their educational and personal success. There are also divides within middle and high schools between races that lead to higher levels of gang identification, activity, and membership.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Providing an after school group that unites communities of color from various cultures in one place within the school to offer a positive pro-social arena in which there are resources for tutoring and educational guidance/help along with engagement with families to relay necessary information, apply for FAFSA, apply to colleges, etc. There will also be opportunities for fitness in which participants can play sports. All of these activities would lead to the reduction of risk factors leading to school drop out and gang affiliation/participation and increase the chance of educational success and positive futures for youth within communities of color. Involving and engaging families has been proven, as have the above listed interventions, to be a vital factor in working with youth and achieving desired outcomes.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

I started as a social work major at NC State after high school and graduated in 2018 with my BSW and again in 2019 with my MSW at the age of 22. I quickly realized my passion was helping the Latinx community in whichever way I could being that I am Latina myself. I worked with various non-profits to bridge the educational gap as well as the gap to necessary resources for the Latinx community. I currently work for an organization as a bilingual gang outreach specialist and I have seen how these two concepts go hand in hand. Without a positive pro-social arena, youth of color are at high risk of participating in gang activity. Once they become gang involved it is very hard to get them removed. Prevention and the need to connect with these communities and offer them a safe, healthy, supported outlet before its too late is key.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

What happens when a youth becomes involved in this after school group is that they are connected with positive peers and are able to engage in positive peer interactions, receive access to necessary resources, and engage in facilitated and productive culturally relevant conversations. The youth will be advocated for and learn how to advocate on their own behalf. Youth and their families will be empowered to achieve success.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Sometimes after school clubs do exist specifically for communities of color but while those are few and far between, there are no clubs that intentionally bring several different communities together. For example there are Spanish clubs in some schools but the goal here is to unite different cultures for a common goal as they have different experiences but all face adversity as part of a community of color. Rather than have them at war with each other we want them to be empowered and empower each other to break down barriers and beat the statistics.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

Some factors that would be measured and tracked from before entering the program through completion or exit would be grades, graduation rates, suspensions, criminal charges, enrollment in higher education. "Alumni" or participants of the program would also be asked to complete a survey down the road to assess graduation from higher education, attainment of a job, refraining from criminal activity, etc. The results from these measures during the program and of alumni can be compared to the same statistics within the entire school, state, and United States for youth of color. These measures will show the impact of the program on keeping youth of color from gang involvement, criminal activity, and drop out and its promotion of educational/personal success.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

As this is a very new idea, next steps would consist of creating a written model for the program that would be followed (i.e. activities by week, registration forms, consent forms, evaluation process and timeline, recruitment), finding partners, and getting the okay from a school to use their space. Once this program is established within one school expansion can be considered but needs will have to be assessed in order to ensure sustainability.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Project Plan & Strategy

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Friend support
  • Family support
  • Mentors/advisors

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)
  • Hispanic, Latino/a, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian) (7)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Communities of color

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Social media
  • Recommended by others
  • Word of mouth

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka or T-Mobile, who was it?

My sister who is a teacher in Washington D.C. along with another teacher sent me the information and recommended I apply.

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Photo of Amira Aboudallah
Team

Wonderful idea! I definitely could've used a program like yours when I was younger. I hope you strive to continue this and benefit the community far and through. :)

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