Young people in Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay face significant barriers that prevent them from accessing and completing higher education programs. These barriers are even greater for young people from Indigenous communities, rural or conflict-affected areas, and households with low incomes, as well as young people with disabilities, young people who migrated and then returned, and LGBTQIA+ youth.
The Realizing Equitable Access, Retention and Completion in Higher Education (REACH) project seeks to increase access to market-relevant higher education and training for marginalized young people so they can thrive academically, professionally and personally. To that end, REACH works to strengthen the capacity of higher education institutions (HEIs) to provide sustainable academic, financial and psychosocial support services to these students.
REACH leverages FHI 360’s expertise in capacity strengthening and positive youth development to prioritize locally led, youth-centered interventions. We work closely with key international and local partners, such as Inclusive Development Partners, Centro de Información y Recursos para el Desarrollo (Center for Information and Resources for Development), Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Fundación Paraguaya, and HEIs in each target country to achieve the following goals:
- Ensure that marginalized young people can access higher education programs.
- Increase the number of marginalized young people who are remaining in and completing higher education programs.
- Strengthen the capacity of local HEIs, youth-led and youth-serving organizations, and other relevant actors to provide academic support and college preparation, remedial education, career coaching, internship and community service placement, and mental health and psychosocial support services.
- In partnership with the local private sector, enhance the higher education sector’s capacity to provide sustainable financial support services, including loans, grants and scholarships, to marginalized young people.
- Foster institutional learning among HEIs by improving their capacity to generate, share and apply knowledge and evidence.