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Grand Challenges: Encuentros: A University-Community Partnership to Mitigate the Mental Health Crisis for Latino Immigrant Youth

Grant Type: Team Project Grant
Topics: Social Justice, Health
Colleges Represented: SPHL, EDUC

Grand Challenges Grants Program


This team project is developing, implementing, and evaluating an innovative community-driven program designed to address the youth mental health crisis in vulnerable communities. The project is specifically designed to address the mental health inequities faced by low-income Latino immigrant youth, who are dramatically and disproportionately impacted by structural racism, inequality, and discriminatory policies. As a community-driven research project, the study reflects the strengths of a six-year ongoing collaboration between faculty from UMD's School of Public Health and the College of Education and Identity, a youth development organization in Montgomery County, Maryland. The project has three basic goals: to directly improve the health and well-being of low-income Latino immigrant youth in the state of Maryland; to empower Latino immigrant youth to manage the mental health impacts of trauma; and to build a sense of community and belonging for Latino immigrant youth. The team will innovate, test, and scale up a community-led intervention across the region, and disseminate an effective intervention model that improves mental health outcomes for youth in Latino immigrant families across the country.

Leadership Team:

Amy Lewin (SPHL), Associate Professor, Family Science

Sophia Rodriguez (EDUC), Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership

Kevin Roy (SPHL), Professor, Family Science


Diego Uriburu, Executive Director, Identity, Inc.

Carolyn Camacho, Program Director, Identity, Inc.

Carmen Estrada, Director of Research and Quality Assurance, Identity, Inc.
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