Inspiring the Next Generation of Mexican-American & Underprivileged Students

AVANZA is passionate about inspiring the next generation of Mexican-American, underprivileged and first generation students to pursue their dreams through a strong education while providing a support network along the way. Together we can advance and further contribute to society.

Three outstanding role models are featured to highlight our potential.

Latest News

Avanza's 2018 Conference A Tremendous Success

This year's national conference was held in San Antonio with over 45 Avanza members attending a variety of activities. We were able to visit 20 middle and high schools, reaching and inspiring over 1,600 students.

Besides school visits, Avanza held its first ever entrepreneur round-table discussion and several networking and social events.

Read the press release here.

Avanza Wins The MIT Great Dome Award!

Avanza was selected as a 2018 winner of the annual MIT Great Dome Award. The award ceremony was held on September 21, 2018 at the MIT Alumni Leadership Conference in Cambridge, MA.

Congratulations to all members of Avanza for this wonderful recognition of your volunteer efforts inspiring our communities through the group efforts.

2017 Avanza Conference In LA Reaches 5,300 Students

Avanza's 2017 national conference, held November 2nd - 5th of 2017, involved over 50 members participating in activities throughout Southern California, from Calexico and San Diego to Orange County and San Fernando Valley.

Key Accomplishments

  • Avanza made visits to 28 middle & high schools and 1 college (ELAC)
  • Over 5,300 students were impacted
  • Avanza was featured on a nationally broadcast radio interview

Canoga Park High School was one of the schools visited by Avanza, where we were given a very warm welcome by Principal Robert Garcia. The event featured several Avanza members, including Secretary of State of California Alex Padilla.

Read the press release here.

Avanza Featured on Radio Bilingüe

Listen to two of our members talk about the importance of a college education through their life stories as they are interviewed on the show Comunidad Alerta on Radio Bilingue, a nationally syndicated radio show.

Click here to listen to the interview.

Resources For Students

Getting Into College

Strengthen your resume and experience with summer programs

MITES | MIT Office of Engineering Outreach Programs

MITES is an exciting and rigorous 6 week residential summer program, meant for High School Juniors. If you are a Junior, visit the MITES website for more details on how to apply. Application period usually opens in mid-November and ends in early February. Financial aid is available.


For over 30 years, Envision has delivered life-changing career exploration and leadership experiences for high-aspiring students like you. Visit the Envision website for more information on their summer programs.

DaVinci Camp Summer Institute

This is a world-class and innovative math and arts summer program designed for students entering 6th-11th grades. Sessions focus on Arithmetic, Algebra, and Functions, combining hands-on science, arts and engineering workshops. For more information, visit their website: Financial aid is available.

National Hispanic Institute - The Great Debate

This is a series of summer programs ranging from 4 to 6 days dedicated to excellence and community leadership. The focus is to develop students who want to play a key role in bringing about prosperity and opportunity in their home Latino communities. For more information on the program and to apply, visit the NHI website.

Prepare for and take the necessary tests required by the colleges you are targeting


Visit edX for a wealth of free online AP test prep courses and other introductory courses to get you ready for college. You can even earn official certificates and university credits for some of the free courses you can take here.

KHAN Academy

The KHAN Academy allows you to take up to 4 real full-length SAT practice tests online, in addition to setting up a personalized practice plan with Official SAT Practice. KHAN is also a great source of material to help you with your high school courses. And best of all, it's free! We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to practice as much as you can before taking tests like the SAT or ACT.

Scholarship Opportunities

LULAC National Education Service Centers (LNESC)

LULAC, in partnership with various corporate partners, awards several annual scholarships aimed at Latino students. Some scholarships are available to all post-secondary students regardless of major and others are available to students pursuing specific degrees or for high school students. Check out their annual scholarship programs at the LNESC.

Private School Scholarships

Remember that although private schools tend to have higher tuition expenses, they also tend to offer significant scholarships and financial aid. Don't shy away from applying to private schools due to their price. You may be surprised by the amount of financial aid they might offer you.

Other Resources

College Greenlight

College Greenlight connects first generation and underrepresented students to caring colleges, generous scholarships, and life-changing counselors and mentors. Visit their website to get started.

Best Colleges

Visit to take advantage of the multitude of resources available to you as you search for the college that best fits what you are looking for. And if you are interested in Criminal Justice as a career, click here to learn about a number of scholarship and financial aid resources for students to take advantage of.

Wiser Pathways

Wiser Pathways provides a variety of educational resources for students who want a better future for themselves and more out of their college education. The website provides a wealth of resources for high school and college students as well as a multitude of scholarship and financial aid information.

Getting Through College

Ongoing Financial Aid

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

HSF provides annual support for undergraduate students. Apply in the spring each year and receive assistance in the fall. Visit their website for information on their scholarship fund and other resources for parents and students.

TheDREAM.US Scholarships

If you are a DREAMER and are looking for financial assistance to continue your college education, visit The Dream for scholarship and support just for you. And keep that dream alive!

Ventures Scholar Program

The Ventures Scholars Program is open to underrepresented and first-generation college-bound students. You must be pursuing a math or science-based career to be considered for this award. Visit Ventures Scholars for more information.

More Scholarships

For additional scholarship opportunities for freshman to grad students, visit this site.

Thinking of graduate school?

The National GEM Consortium

GEM is a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, top universities, and top research institutions that enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied science and engineering. This is a great program to explore and help fund your graduate studies. Visit the GEM Consortium for more information.

Professional Resources

Stronger Together

Avanza LinkedIn Group

Join the AVANZA LinkedIn Group to network with other Avanza members. Members can post/search for job openings for full time, part time, contract and internship positions. As a member, you can also search for connections to help your business or job prospects. The existing group's diversity in experience and industry has led to countless success stories resulting from the network effect. Have a startup or an idea? Avanza's entrepreneur board is hear to help. Avanza is a platform to help each other rise up.

Regional Mixers

Avanza has regional mixers to get people together to network and help each other, all while having a good time. These mixers are typically announced on the Avanza Facebook and LinkedIn pages so stay tuned.

Role Models

These outstanding Mexican-American role models highlight our potential.

Luz Rivas is a graduate of MIT and Harvard, founder of DIY Girls, former Public Works Commissioner in LA, and now a state representative on the California State Assembly.

Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa came to this country as a undocumented farmworker and worked his way up to be a neurosurgeon, author and researcher.

Jose Hernandez worked his way from farmworker in California as a youth to being the first Mexican-American NASA astronaut.

Follow us. Join us. Support us.

About The Avanza Network

The Avanza Network, is a non-profit organization fiscally sponsored by FJC. We welcome and appreciate your contribution. Please click on the donate button above.


The Avanza Network inspires Mexican-American, Latinx, and other underrepresented students to achieve their full potential by increasing awareness of the transformational power of a college education. Avanza's goal is to significantly increase the number of members of these groups applying and being accepted at the highest level of college matriculation, to improve college graduation rates, and to emphasize the benefits of diverse career paths, highlighting the key benefits of STEAM proficiency, all while cultivating the group's pipeline of talent through the professional development life cycle.


Avanza's vision is a world in which a majority of Mexican-Americans and other U.S. Latinx have earned a college degree, mastered STEAM skills, and eliminated barriers to socioeconomic advancement by contributing and leading in diverse careers. Through these achievements, this demographic then becomes a greater force in the advancement of American society, and through Avanza's efforts, other underprivileged groups will also benefit in the same way.


Avanza is a national organization founded by MIT Mexican-American alumni and friends who are dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of current and aspiring Mexican-American professionals, other U.S. Latinx, and members of underserved populations. Since 2011, Avanza has served as a resource for MIT Mexican-American alumni and friends to network, foster new friendships, and provide a venue to promote STEAM and other careers by sharing their own experiences and path to MIT. Avanza endeavors to reinforce the need for a college education, expand the image of STEAM professions as a viable option, and demonstrate the value of talent and diversity arising from Mexican-American, other U.S. Latinx, and underserved populations.

Buy Our Book

Avanza: The Transformational Power of an Education

Avanza is happy to announce that it's first book, AVANZA - The Transformational Power of an Education, is now complete and available for the public.

The book contains the inspirational life stories of several Avanza members and MIT alumni in their quest for higher education.

See the power of an education through the eyes of Mexican-Americans who rose to success from seemingly insurmountable circumstances.

Buy it here.

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