Dear Brothers of Omega Delta Phi,
My name is Enrique Soto and I am the Manager of Latino Engagement and Partnerships at Teach For America and have been working to partner with national Latino serving organizations to promote opportunities in educational leadership. This past year, we have launched our Latino Greek initiative to further engage members of Latino/Multicultural Greek organizations and engage leaders from these orgs. I am excited to have Omega Delta Phi be one of our initial partner organizations in this initiative and look forward to scaling our partnership throughout the years, particularly as we have seen strong leaders from Omega Delta Phi join Teach For America in our movement for educational equity.
We realize that being part of a Latino Greek organization is an exemplary way to not only build a life-long support network of brothers, but also a unique opportunity to further exercise leadership, promote cultural awareness and develop a passion to give back to the community. Over the years we have seen an increase in Latino Greek organization members joining Teach For America and applying their leadership as Latino Greek member to lead students in our nation’s highest-need classrooms to strong academic outcomes.
Nearly 1 out of every 4 students enrolled in public schools is Latino, yet only six percent of teachers across the U.S. identifies as Latino. While we know that great teachers from all backgrounds can provide students with an excellent education, there is power in serving as a direct role model to students who share the same background as their students. Members of Latino Greek organizations have consistently shared how their experience in a Latino Greek org has impacted their work in aligning to the TFA mission and have a direct impact on the communities they serve.
“Brother Jose Barragan, who crossed Spring 2010 at Arizona State (Epsilon chapter), graduated May 2012 with his B.A. in Sociology and a B.S. in Family and Human Development. Upon graduation, Barragan embarked on a new chapter of his life and began as a corps member in San Antonio, Texas. The reason he decided to join TFA is an example of the selfless individuals who join ODPhi. “Every child, regardless of what type of family they are born into or where they live, deserves to have an outstanding education. Every child deserves to have equal opportunities regardless of skin color, socioeconomic status, or location,” he said. As he completed his first year of teaching, he did not regret his decision in joining such a movement. His experience as a first-year teacher has been rewarding in so many ways in which he plans to continue to shape his life around the educational reform. “I have developed strong bonds with these kids and have given them new motivation to help work toward reaching their fullest potential,” he said. “It has helped me gain a new perspective on life and really has helped shaped many of the things I now want to achieve in life.”
As a leader and part of Omega Delta Phi, I encourage you to consider applying your talent, leadership skills and philanthropic spirit to making an impact with communities. As we see a growing presence of Latino Greeks joining the corps, we hope to further expand opportunities for our communities and change the narrative of education in the U.S.
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