Leadership Programs

Community Education and Leadership Development (CELD)

The primary objective of MALDEF’s CELD program is to promote and develop the educational and leadership advancement of the Latino community through free community workshops across the nation. MALDEF works to secure equal access to quality education with an emphasis on public K-12 education and college admission. This includes expanding access to resources, eliminating barriers and empowering youth, parents and community members with the knowledge of their rights and responsibilities. MALDEF CELD programs offer Latino parents the ability to more fully participate as advocates for their children; provide high school students with critical information to pursue a college education, and help pay for it; develop cadres of immigrant leaders with new-found knowledge to participate and thrive as community leaders and entrepreneurs; and, help prevent domestic violence and teen relationship abuse by providing vital intervention strategies and awareness of resources available, regardless of income, language or immigration status. Our goal is to increase the educational attainment and leadership development of Latinos that we may more fully contribute to building a healthier, more equitable and more prosperous America.


Civil Rights Education and Art Toward Empowerment (CREATE!)

The future of the Latino community depends on the education and success of our youth and their ability to create and fully participate in positive social change. MALDEF’s goal of reducing the high school drop-out rate, increasing college access and establishing a network of civic-minded and educated youth will help create a new generation of socially conscious Latino leadership.


The LIDER (Liderazgo Inmigrante de Desarrollo Educativo Responsable, or Immigrant Leadership for Responsible Education and Development) Program, was established in 2005 with participating Mexican and Central American Hometown Associations (HTA) to empower the Southern California Latino immigrant community through expert skill training.

Los Angeles Multicultural Education Collaborative

The Los Angeles Multicultural Educational Collaborative (LAMEC) is a BP-funded initiative to build community empowerment, and mobilization through parent and youth leadership training centered in K-12 academic success, college access and civic engagement.


Undergraduate Scholarship Resource Guide

Currently, MALDEF is only able to provide scholarships to law students, but we have a developed a comprehensive Undergraduate Scholarship Resource Guide that is regularly updated and available for free downloading. MALDEF's intention is for all students to find scholarship resources in this Guide to assist them in financing their educations. The resources listed include scholarships and financial aid for permanent legal residents and U.S. Citizens, as well as private scholarships available to all students, regardless of immigration status, or country of origin. Everyone deserves the right to higher education. DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE!

Donate to the MALDEF Law School Scholarship Fund

The price of law school has increased significantly in recent years and many law students face an enormous challenge in trying to fund their legal educations. Most law students soon learn that very few private scholarships exist for law school. For this reason, MALDEF's Law School Scholarship Program exists to support several deserving law students each year who have a commitment to advancing the civil rights of Latinos through law. MALDEF relies 100% on private donations to fund this critical Program. It is our intention that these scholarships will be significant enough in amount to make a noticeable impact on the lives of our award recipients. DONATE TODAY!

MALDEF Law School Scholarship Program

Since MALDEF's founding, it has been an organizational hallmark to support the next generation of lawyers who will advance the civil rights of the Latino community. MALDEF's Law School Scholarship Program awards scholarships of varying amounts to several students each year based on their commitment to serve the Latino community through law; their past achievement and potential for achievement; and their financial need. MALDEF's Law School Scholarship Application for the 2010-2011 school year is NOW AVAILABLE to all law students who will be enrolled full-time in an American-accredited law school in 2010-2011. APPLY NOW!

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund