AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Los Barrios de Amarillo is preparing to celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary!

In fact, Los Barrios de Amarillo’s origin story dates back to the 1970s.

President of Los Barrios de Amarillo, Mary Bralley, shared, “Los Barrios de Amarillo was started in 1971 by a group of community volunteers that were concerned about the dropout rate of the Hispanic male students at Caprock High School.”

Volunteers with the organization then began to mentor the kids, with a goal of helping them obtain their high school diploma. However, it did not stop there.

“Our reach is still promoting education, but now we promote it throughout Region 16. So, it’s not just for Caprock High School students. It’s for any school that’s inside Region 16. We start with the middle school kids all the way up to high school,” explained Bralley.

The organization’s president also continued to explain that their mission is not just to promote higher education, but to help students navigate after high school.

“It’s really about, ‘Let’s see. What else you can do? There’s going to be your whole- life really begins after high school. Do you want to go to college? What does that look like? Is that a two year degree? Is that a four year degree? Are you interested in going to a trade school?” said Bralley.

This navigation also includes a focus on developing life skills.

“We’re here if you need help with your resume. We’re here if you need a suit coat for an interview, or even interviewing school, interviewing skills. We’re here to help you and whatever that might look like.”

As the group’s 50th anniversary approaches, Bralley shared how far they have come.

“We have grown. We have expanded our reach, things have changed. And we’re excited about the momentum going forward for the next 50, but we’re really excited about celebrating with all of the people that have been involved with us.”

Due to health and safety concerns, Bralley shared that Los Barrios de Amarillo will celebrate with a celebration luncheon virtually this year. The virtual luncheon will take place live on Facebook on October 14th, beginning at noon.