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About Us


Latinas/ Latinos al Éxito translated means Latinos to Success. Al Éxito is the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the educational achievement and transformative leadership capacity of Latinx youth and their families, to succeed in life and participate fully in Iowa. 


Latinas Al Éxito (LAÉ ) was initiated by the American Association of University Women (AAUW)-Iowa’s Diversity and Equity Committee in 2006-2007. The chairs of the Diversity Committee, Jan Mitchell and Pam Swarts met with college-educated Latinas in Marshalltown to envision a mentorship program for Latina students. The program grew out of the need to support Latinas in developing a plan for higher education and to expose them to college and campus life. LAÉ was one of the first programs to address issues facing young Latinas that kept them from a college degree. 

Breaking from its history of all-volunteer leadership, the Board of Directors hired Dawn Martinez Oropeza as the Executive Director in March 2013. Later that same year, LAÉ changed its operating name to Al Éxito.

Al Éxito now serves 6th grade - college-aged youth in over 18 communities across Iowa. Facilitators are contracted, trained, and paid to run the programs at each site. Parent programs, entitled Padres Unidos, were developed to better inform and equip Spanish-speaking partners for helping their students succeed in school. Al Éxito advances the success of Latinx youth through programs that focus on college preparation, career development, civic engagement, family support, and celebration of culture. By gaining knowledge, skills, opportunities, and support, our young leaders:  

- Achieve higher education and career goals

- Engage in leadership and civic activities that build equitable Latinx representation in our communities. 

- Nurture well-being through cultural identity development

Al Éxito also identifies and elevates the unique needs of Latinx families to reimagine how our systems can enable all Iowans to thrive. Students in our program score higher on college preparation exams, have better grades than the average student population and are recognized for their work. 

100% of youth strongly agree that Al Éxito helped them be better students, helped them use their voice, and taught them about their culture!

100% Plan to Finish High School & Attend College


Let’s build Iowa’s prosperous future by investing in Latinx youth




Al Exito’s mission is to accelerate Latinx youth’s academic achievement and leadership capacity through transformative opportunities for youth, and their families, to fully participate and thrive in Iowa’s communities.




Al Exito’s vision is to advance Iowa’s prosperity through Latinx excellence.


Black Lives Matter and we all must come together to put an end to anti-Blackness in our community. Systemic racism runs rampant in our social, political and educational structures and it is up to all of us to work to dismantle it. Al Exito stands with the Black Lives Matter movement in a spirit of unity, solidarity, and liberation. This is a time to stand together and in an effort to continue the movement's momentum, we invite our supporters’ attention to ways they can advance local and national efforts, go to  

Black Lives Matter Statement

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