CENTRAL TEXAS - The Hispanic population in Central Texas is growing.
Right now, it makes up about 30 percent of Austin's population, but by 2050 Hispanics are projected to makeup a majority.
The Austin Community Foundation is bringing attention to the problems Hispanics face. Members of the organization said perhaps the biggest is how little money Hispanics make compared to other races.
Hispanics living in Central Texas earn much less than people of other races, a recent Austin Area Sustainability Indicators study conducted by the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, LBJ School of Public Affairs and The University of Texas at Austin found.
Here's a breakdown of average incomes for 2014:
- White people: $40,000 per year
- Asians: $35,000
- African Americans: $22,000
- Hispanics: $17,000
ACF is starting a new push to figure out why and hopefully change the statistic through their new fund, the Hispanic Impact Fund.
"Our goal is to advance the economic security of that Hispanic community," said Austin Community Foundation CEO Mike Nellis.
In the past year, The ACF has raised more than $500,000 to put toward their Hispanic Impact Fund. The money comes from donations from companies such as Google and J.P. Morgan Chase. ACF plans to use it in three ways.
"The first is investing in early childhood education. The second is investing in healthy communities. And the third is to invest in entrepreneurship," Nellis said.
ACF plans to identify why there's such a pay disparity in the Hispanic community.
"We'll (also) be seeking out non-profit partners and others who really have proven programs that we can invest in," Nellis said.
One example is the non-profit "Con Mi MADRE."
"We help young Latinas to stay in school and get their college education," said Con Mi MADRE Executive Director Teresa Granillo.
The organization mentors and works with them and their mothers, starting in the sixth grade.
"100 percent of our seniors are graduating from high school. Seventy-seven percent are enrolling directly into college compared to only 47 percent of Latinas in Central Texas," Granillo said.
Granillo said the Hispanic Impact Fund will really benefit the organization.
"We're not serving nearly the amount that we could be serving," Granillo said.
She believes the money would allow them to grow and expand their reach.
The Austin Community Foundation hopes to establish what organization receives the funds in the next year and also has plans to create a handbook that will allow other communities to build this type of fund for themselves.
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