Avanzando is the result of a partnership established between the Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) and the UMKC Division of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). Implemented in August 2011 with 27 participants, the Avanzando Program is designed to support HDF and Agapito Mendoza Scholarship recipients with individualized support in reaching their academic and career pursuits. With over sixty scholarship recipients to date, Avanzando is continuing to grow.

Program goals include:

1. Increasing scholar retention,
2. Improving graduation rates and
3. Ensuring successful transitions of students into graduate school and/or career positions.

Program components include:

  • Academic support
  • Mentoring
  • Enhanced access to resources & networks

Each Avanzando scholar is matched with a campus or community mentor who possesses qualities relevant to scholars’ goals. Mentors and mentees meet regularly throughout their academic careers to develop positive relationships and explore opportunities both within and outside of UMKC. Additional program components include personalized academic support, enhanced access to campus and community resources, opportunities for undergraduate research, academic and career-oriented workshops throughout the year, as well as the following formal annual events:

The UMKC Division of Diversity and Inclusion gratefully acknowledges the Patricia and John Morgan Academic Advancement Fund and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trustee Donor-Advised Fund for their financial support of Avanzando programming.

Avanzando Summer Enrichment Program

This week-long summer program, typically held in early August, is designed for Scholars to meet other Latin@ students and Latin@ faculty and to engage in fun, hands-on learning and community service activities. Offered to new and returning Avanzando Scholars, this program helps students get a head start on the academic year with focus on:

  • Writing & math skills enhancement
  • Test-taking and study skills
  • Utilizing the library and other campus resources for academic success
  • College survival tips and self-care
  • Leadership development
  • Embracing Latin@ identity and the significant contributions Latin@s make to our campus, community and world

Avanzando Fall Reception

Held in late August or Early September, scholars and their families are invited to kick-off the fall semester with campus and community leaders. New scholars are introduced to their mentors and returning scholars and mentors reconnect in preparation for the new academic year.

Avanzando Year End Celebration

This reception recognizes our graduates and celebrates the accomplishments of all Avanzando Scholars. Scholars, families and mentors attend this event held in late April or early May.


Contact Marji Datwyler at datwylerm@umkc.edu or (816)235-6706

Avanzando Brochure – English
Avanzando Brochure – Spanish