Escalera STEM is a national program that promotes economic mobility for youth. Targeting low-income, first-generation Latino students, Escalera supports students both personally and academically as they explore career paths, prepare for college, and develop leadership and technology skills.


This 2-year after school program follows students entering their junior year and follows them through their senior year, providing guidance and support through: the following:

  • A rigorous, semi-scripted curriculum that is responsive to students’ culture

  • Self-Knowledge & Cultural History

  • College Support: Applications, ACT, FAFSA, and Scholarships

  • Career Exploration: Emphasis on STEM careers

  • Soft Skills & Leadership Development

  • Experiential learning activities

  • Wrap around case management

  • Internship opportunities

Since 2014, our Escalera-STEM program has served 191 youth at three area high schools and graduated 112 (number includes those seniors expected to complete the program May 2019). Together, our Escalera graduates have received over $400,000 in scholarships from various public and private sources. At present, 60 youth are enrolled in the program (33 juniors and 27 seniors) at two sites hosted by local high schools.  

For more information, please contact Ashley Ortiz Chico at

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Puentes New Orleans | 4205 Canal St. | New Orleans, LA 70119 | (504) 821-7228 |