IUPUI’s Diversity Enrichment and Achievement Program (DEAP) has been awarded the Avanzando Through College (ACT) grant program through Unidos US. Unidos US works to ensure Latinos have the ability and opportunity to improve their lives economically, socially, and politically, especially aiding in citizenship, financial hardship, and equal access to quality education for Latinos and English learners. Their goals are separated into a unique combination of assets: leadership in policy and advocacy, innovative programming, and a national network of over 300 affiliate community organizations.
DEAP incorporates the needs of the ATC, which fits within DEAP’s mission and fills the gap within their programming for their Latinx student specific curriculum, providing a greater chance of success for the program and a holistic and inclusive environment of academic support and community for students.
DEAP currently serves over 400 underrepresented students of color, primarily African American and Latinx students. The current resources distributed to DEAP are tailored for students to fit their unique academic and personal needs with an identity lens that provides cultural affirmation. The program provides services that increase the persistence, retention, and graduate rates of participating students.
When asked about receiving the grant program, Eric Williams, DEAP director, shared his thoughts: “The purpose of the award is to provide the student participants with academic and social support with a Latinx cultural lens that fosters community building. It is our expectation that the participants will be much more welcomed and supported here at IUPUI, which will lead to increased persistence and graduation.”
Gloria Diaz, DEAP coordinator of academic and career support, will be the facilitator of the DEAP Latinx curriculum and will be the first person of contact for the students. She also shared her excitement about the award: “When I mentioned the opportunity of this grant, many showed a sigh of relief and excitement learning that they will have a support network and guidance navigating college. Many are eager to jump into the opportunity to be in a space where they will bond with their fellow Latinx peers and staff members.”