Juan Cervantes is a Community Resource Specialist to Latinx K-12 students. He works in the Office of Student Equity, Access and Advancement.

Juan centers his work around what students need to be successful in school, which could be anything from helping with homework to advocating for a student’s particular needs. He aims to be a reliable adult-figure in students’ lives by showing compassion and a path to success.

Rising graduation rates for Latinx students

Juan has made a particular impact in assisting to raise the attendance rate and graduation rate for Latinx students. He has established systems to identify needs of students and families to prioritize how to meet the needs of students on his caseload. Most of all he is teaching students the importance of obtaining an education, how to advocate for themselves and overcome barriers and challenges.

Data from the Oregon Department of Education

According to data released by the Oregon Department of Education, the graduation rate for the 2020-21 school year is more than 80%. The district has seen a gain of more than nine percentage points since 2016.

Forty-five percent of SKPS students identify as Hispanic or Latinx, and the graduation rate among those students has increased by nearly 10 percentage points since 2016 and continues to show improvement when compared to pre-pandemic data.

McKay High School, where Juan is also a football coach, had an increase of over two percentage points from the previous school year in graduation rates for students who identify as Hispanic or Lanix.

Staff also look to Juan for mentorship and support. He assists in training other staff in the Office of Student Equity, Access and Advancement. Juan has been an employee at Salem-Keizer Public Schools for five years and has become a go-to resource for how staff can be advocates for our students.

SKPS’s commitment to equity

Juan’s work exemplifies our district’s equity definition: eliminating all barriers so that all students get an education free of bias, systemic and structural racism, therefore ensuring career and college readiness.

Juan, on behalf of our schools and students, we thank you for your continued dedication to the Salem-Keizer community.