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SALEF's mission is to promote the civic participation and representation of the Salvadoran and other Latino communities in the U.S., promote the economic development and democracy in El Salvador, as well as to advocate for its economic, educational, and political advancement and growth.
Since SALEF's founding in 1995 by a group of Salvadoran immigrants and activists, one of its prominent goals has been to provide educational assistance to Salvadoran, Central American, and other Latino students. We know that in order for our communities to fully realize their dream of economic prosperity and political empowerment, we need to help open the doors to higher education.
Advocacy is at the heart of SALEF, thus SALEF'S Advocacy efforts include school reform issues such as eliminating overcrowded conditions in schools, quality education to successfully prepare all students for college and the 21st century workforce, and comprehensive humane immigration reform for our communities.
Since its establishment, SALEF's Fulfilling our Dreams Scholarship Fund was the first organization that provided scholarships to deserving undocumented/AB540 students to assist them in pursuing a college education and the American Dream.
SALEF and the Center for Higher Education and Policy Analysis at USC collaborated with many individuals and organizations to create the College & Financial Aid Guide for: AB540 Undocumented Immigrant Students, which has been disseminated across the state and nation.
In 2006, SALEF took part in the mobilization of hundreds of supporters to participate in anti-immigrant marches supporting the immigration debate and immigration reform for our communities.Campaign to rename and designate Pico Union/Westlake region as the Central American Historical District. As a founding member of the Central American Council of Los Angeles, SALEF is working to ensure the Central American community is represented and its history honored.
SALEF led the effort in partnership with other prominent community leaders and organizations to develop a sister city relationship between Los Angeles and San Salvador (capitol of El Salvador). This important development highlights the fact that Los Angeles is home to the largest Salvadoran community outside of El Salvador. SALEF executive Director, Carlos Vaquerano serves as Chair of the Los Angeles-San Salvador Sister City Committee. Current projects include the development of the Monseñor Oscar A. Romero monument in MacArthur Park to recognize his legacy of a society free of human rights abuse and justice for all people.
SALEF has been a steering committee member of the Los Angeles Cash for College to assist students and their families' gain greater understanding and access to financial aid opportunities that can pay for a college education.As a member of the Communities for Educational Equity (CEE), SALEF joined other organizations in the citywide effort to include the A-G requirements as the LAUSD high school graduation default curriculum, thus preparing all students for college and the 21st century workforce.
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