equalizing opportunity

Increasing accessibility to higher education for immigrant youth


What We Do

Over the past decade, The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) has worked to provide students with the technology that a modern day education demands and every student is given a laptop to supplement their K-12 curriculum. But as students graduate high school, the laptops are recycled back into the district for other students to use. This leaves young high school graduates without the necessary resources to pursue a higher education and has a deeper impact on immigrant youth whose legal statuses may deem them ineligible to receive federal student aid. The Migrant Advocacy Project (MAP) aims to break down the barriers immigrant youth face in their pursuit of higher education through the MAP Scholars Program, an initiative that improves digital literacy and promotes inclusion of immigrant youth at post-secondary institutions.


Our Community

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How We Do It

This summer, graduating high school seniors from Oakland Unified School District will participate in the MAP Scholars Program, a digital literacy and inclusion workshop series and scholarship initiative. Through the identification of our Scholars’ existing strengths, capabilities, and resources, our program utilizes student surveys to share tools and resources with Scholars that best prepare them for success in college and beyond. By fostering a learning environment that encourages Scholars to adopt a growth mindset, the belief that one’s skills or desired qualities can be cultivated through effort, we are able to bring out the best in our Scholars. Our growth-minded curriculum operates on three core areas of development:

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What Makes Our Program Unique

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Unlike most merit-based programs, the MAP Scholars Program does not impose a GPA requirement in our application process. By doing away with this traditional measure of success, MAP redefines what it means to be a scholar. Instead, we select our students based on their strengths both inside and outside of the classroom. We honor the students who take on non-traditional roles in their household to support their families by equalizing opportunity for those who would otherwise not be eligible to participate in programs similar to ours.

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representation matters

MAP’s foundation is rooted in the collective experiences and values of our team. Our majority-minority leadership team reflects a commitment to increasing representation of underrepresented minorities in the non-profit sector. With over 60% of our team consisting of female-identifying first and second-generation immigrant women, we are furthering our mission to equalize opportunities for all members of the immigrant community.

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Student Oriented Curriculum

Embedded in our application is a student assessment survey where students select specific topics they would like to explore through our workshop series for weeks six and seven of the program. Our goal is to develop the capacity to allow each incoming cohort to select what they would like to see incorporated in each workshop. By creating space for students to voice their interests and needs, we are co-creating a program curriculum that is directly tailored to that specific cohort. This gives students a sense of ownership and agency which we believe will improve their overall experience.

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Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is not inherent and can be further developed through learning and new experiences. Students who believe that their capabilities can be developed over time can more readily develop a love of learning and resilience to overcome the barriers they may face in their educational paths, which is what we hope to instill in each MAP Scholar.