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The Oaxaca Learning Center helps
underserved Oaxacan youth 
transform their lives and communities

The Oaxaca Learning Center is essential because:

Our understanding of the root causes of school dropout rates: a causal cycle of violence and poverty wherein the effects of poverty often perpetuate its conditions, has inspired us to grow to provide an Integral Training Program. Workshops that range in subject matter from study skills to stress reduction, active coaching and mentoring are included in addition to tutoring. 

Program: 100% of our staff come from the same background as our students, and use their understanding of our students’ lived experiences to develop students’ confidence and to better serve our youth’s needs. The result is a distinctive, student-centered approach. The Center's aim is to help students realize their personal and leadership potential, increase their academic skills and support them in finding the path they want to follow. 

THERE ARE THREE COMPONENT PARTS TO THIS:

SKILLS

Educational attainment in Oaxaca is well behind the rest of Mexico. The Center offers  mentoring and tutoring in math, physics, chemistry and English language, in parallel with  workshops in many other subjects. At the end of the Integrated Training Program, students improve their results in school by 30% - 40%. 

SELF-CONFIDENCE

Many young people from low income families in Oaxaca believe their life options are very  limited. The Center supports the students in discovering that they can achieve more than they ever imagined.    

 

LEADERSHIP

The Center encourages the students to be involved in their communities and be active  agents for change, challenging oppressive gender roles, violence against women and  opening opportunities for others.  

Friends of the Oaxaca Learning Center (FOLC) Board members

FOLC is a US-based non-profit.  The role of its volunteer Board is to raise funds and other support for the

Oaxaca Learning Center and to work strategically to determine how best to support it. 

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Bob Anyon, President

Bob first came to Oaxaca in 2001 and has been coming regularly ever since.  In 2003 he met Gary Titus and started working with the then-emerging Learning Center. He believes strongly in the holistic approach to supporting youth and giving them the tools to realize their own future.

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Susan Connor, Vice President

Susan stumbled upon the Oaxaca Learning Center in Spring of 2007 and decided to spend the rest of her sabbatical leave time volunteering there. Thereafter she spent 6-8 weeks every year volunteering.  In 2014 she left her career teaching and litigating and moved to Oaxaca.  She now runs the B&B, serves on the Board, mentors students and is a daily witness to how the the Learning Center changes the lives of so many youth here.

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Jaasiel Quero

Jaasiel is President of the Oaxaca Learning Center, which he founded alongside Gary Titus.  A former schoolteacher himself he had firsthand knowledge of the limitations of the public school system and how it was failing poor students and worked with Gary to devise a curriculum to address those shortcomings.

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Viviana Ruíz

Viviana brings a wealth of experience in non-profits, most recently as Managing Director of Mexican non-profit, Fundación En Vía.  She is now focusing on her original profession of architecture, bringing her passion for community into her vision of how buildings can work. She believes young people should be seen from their strengths  

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Mark Jacobs

Mark and his wife first visited Oaxaca in 1997 and fell in love with the city immediately and came back at every opportunity after that. They volunteered for years at the Oaxaca Streetchildren Grassroots and knew the founder, Jodi Baumman. For years after that, they volunteered at the Oaxaca Learning Center and knew its founder, Gary Titus, as well. Mark feels honored to be able to participate in Gary’s amazing legacy. Mark is a native Californian, and therefore a Oaxacaliforniano. He is a retired teacher who taught English, history, and English as a Second Language to mostly Mexican immigrants at the high school level for twenty years. He loved teaching, had a passion for it. TOLC allows him to combine that passion with his love of Oaxaca. He is grateful for the opportunity. 

Carol Estes

Carol retired from a career as a lifelong educator in both corporate and public education. She moved to Oaxaca in 2014 and considers it home. Carol believes all youth benefit from the “anchor” and support provided by The Oaxaca Learning Center as they navigate the rough waters of “what next” and “how?” Gary Titus’s vision supports young people in creative, compassionate, and practical ways that improve opportunities and lives. Serving TOLC and the youth of Oaxaca is a fine privilege.

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Gail Ament

At age 19, Gail spent a summer volunteering in a Mixteca village in Oaxaca, a transformative experience that set her on her life’s path of studying and teaching Spanish language and Latin American literature at university level. For her, engaging with the Learning Center’s mission to support Oaxaca’s underserved youth academically and socially is a dream come true, an opportunity to “give back.”

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