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What is Unidos? : MHS

What is Unidos doing for MHS students?

Unidos is a nonprofit Latinx based organization. This organization started getting involved in The Muscatine School District as of 2015. Jesse Garcia is the current Latinx Outreach Coordinator for Muscatine High School and Middle School as of 2021.
Jesse Garcia states, “In 2015 Unidos started as an after school club that helped to support Latino Hispanic students to graduate and to discover what they wanted to do after high school.” Since then, Unidos has expanded to become a program at MHS.
The way this group helps students seek out educational opportunities is through activities such as field trips. Along with visiting colleges or any kind of trade schools that students have an interest in. The organizations behind the funding that makes all of these exciting trips possible are Muscatine Community School District, Muscatine Community College, Iowa State University and Extension. Which also helped create Garcia’s job as the Unidos Coordinator. A separate establishment that helps with Unidos funding is United Way of Muscatine.
The volunteer work portion that is involved helps the students to connect with members in their community, that later down the road could potentially help with future jobs.
Many High School Students tend to have little to no knowledge about this group. The reason for that is because members were introduced to Unidos in middle school. The way Unidos is organized in middle school is that the members of the group and their parents are asked to go to meetings after school for a total of 6 weeks. These meets consist of informing all who attend how to plan for after college. After the 6 weeks pass those students are asked to join and work with Unidos until the end of their high school career. “Most of the time we only get 6 new members a year but anybody can join at any point after that. Even if they didn’t do the piece with their parents,” stated coordinator, Jesse Garcia.
“I think a lot of people don’t know about Unidios because they think it’s only for Latino and Hispanic students but it’s not. It’s just that is the focus, but anybody else can be involved,” said Garcia.
Unidos holds after school meetings on Wednesdays from 3:30-5. The inside look of the meetings at MHS is divided into 4 categories. The welcoming piece, fun, piece, educational piece, and a business piece. All together Garcia’s main goal in the after school meetings is to learn something new while still enjoying these activities. Garcia stated,“One of the things that were on our list last year was to go to a museum to learn more about art. So that’s one thing we have planned for, like doing education about art.”
The business portion of these meetings have the general idea of the student council. What this means, is that instead of having decisions already made, the members of Unidos have the responsibility of working together to make those decisions. Scenarios like these can have a great impact on students after their High School career and start working for a job.
“We have data from the past two years that shows that students involved in our group have a higher percentage chance of enrolling in some sort of program the year after they graduate High School compared to students that don’t,” said Garcia.

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Kelsy Esmoil
Kelsy Esmoil, Writer
MHS / 2026'
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    Josefina GarciaOct 22, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    Way to go unidos group . Keep doing the good work. You have a wonderful leader!