El Comienzo

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Our Mission

ALMA serves many purposes to the Latina/o community and the university community as a whole including: acting as a recruitment tool; a mentorship and retention program; an educational orientation program of the campus and its resources; and a tool to promote involvement in the Latino/a community to strengthen its presence on campus. To specifically address the issue of recruitment of Latino/a students, the ALMA Program has taken a proactive role in college visits sponsored through the Office of Admissions. Through volunteering as hosts and mentoring high school students interested in attending Michigan, members of the ALMA Program planning committee have played a role in sparking the interest of future leaders.

The ALMA participants are introduced to University faculty, staff, and other resources that will be of service to them with their academic, cultural, and emotional well-being. Students will also be made aware of other programs and organizations that will assist them as the future leaders. Throughout the academic year participants will attend several workshops and community-building activities with an effort to provide ways to remain academically successful.


The Assisting Latinos to Maximize Achievement (ALMA) Program began in August 2001 to better support and serve incoming undergraduate students at the University of Michigan. This program is open to all students who endeavor to learn more about Latina/o culture and how it translates onto the University of Michigan campus.

The Latino Welcome Initiative (LWI) was introduced by the office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) in 1999, providing incoming students with an immediate connection to the community through phone call-outs, move-in visits, and a student mixer where the offices sought out interested students who shared the same goal. In 2001, the program expanded to a three-day orientation program known as ALMA. In 2006, ALMA became a student organization and in 2008 re-established a partnership with MESA/Trotter. Now a four-day program, ALMA continues to improve with more activities then ever!


Assisting Latinos to Maximize Achievement is a Sponsored Student Organization (SSO) registered with the Michigan Student Assembly and supported with funds from the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs.