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Education Pathways

Jeilani sitting at table reading a piece of paperJeilani Athman came to the US in 2013, with a background as a teacher in Kenya. After working here for about a year, Jeilani was introduced to the UNP-supported New American Academic Network (NAAN) and its organizer, Ahmed. Ahmed helped Jeilani take the necessary tests and apply to the U, where he enrolled in a masters program. 

At UNP's Hartland Spring Festival, Jeilani met Professor Marisa Diener. She was looking for someone just like him to be her teaching assistant. The two ran a community-engaged access program at Hartland. Jeilani went on to become a Student Success Advocate at the U. He continues to partner with UNP, including as the co-founder of Youth Voices, which engages teens in participatory research.

Educational opportunities are critical for individuals to grow as people and professionals, reach their goals, and contribute to their communities. There is no one-size-fits-all educational pipeline — each person’s path is different. So, UNP and our partners work to increase access to educational opportunities that are diverse, culturally responsive, equitable, and transformative.

Education Pathways partnerships bring together west side students, families, educators, policymakers, community organizations, and higher ed partners around the shared goal of improving education for all. Current partnerships address a range of goals, including:

  • Family-School Partnerships focused on school improvement and student growth
  • A Diverse Educator Workforce with strong community connections
  • Positive School Cultures that are welcoming to families and promote pathways to higher education
  • Culturally-Sustaining Education in our schools and other community hubs
  • Youth Leaders who can effectively define and address community priorities
  • Adult Education Pathways that are accessible, flexible, and community-centered

See below for examples of active UNP-supported partnerships.

FSC Design Research Project

The Family-School Collaboration Design Research Project brings together west side parents and educators to re-design how families and schools relate. This innovative, participatory research project is a partnership between the Community Advocate Network, the College of Education, and the Salt Lake City School District. It is part of the national Family Leadership Design Collaborative.

Grow Your Own Educators

Grow Your Own Educators (GYOE) supports pathways to teaching for local community members and paraeducators in Utah’s Title 1 schools. Together we are building a stronger, more diverse teaching workforce that reflects the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of our communities.

Hartland Community for Youth and Families

Hartland Community 4 Youth & Families (HC4YF) is a community development organization that partners with public, non-profit, and for-profit organizations to engage Salt Lake County’s most marginalized and underrepresented populations, including people who have refugee and immigrant backgrounds or identify as Latino/a.​

Youth Voices

Youth Voices is a Youth Participatory-Based Research (YPAR) program hosted at the UNP Hartland Partnership Center. Since 2016, Youth Voices has been increasing educational opportunities for young through art, research, and prosocial activities. Youth Voices places young people’s expertise at the center of knowledge production in a space (the University) often perceived as unwelcoming to minoritized populations.

Intro to Family Leadership in Education

In this 3-credit course, parents and families learn to be advocates, supporters, and leaders in their children’s K-12 schools. They work with pre-service teachers from the College of Education to develop action projects. Families who take the course report increased participation in their children's schools and increase their confidence in their ability to support their children's educations.

LIA Family Engagement

Latinos in Action, in partnership with UNP, launched a parent engagement initiative in West Valley City high schools. It includes classes for families as well as a family leadership group that will develop its own projects to improve schooling for young people.