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“There are many programs where funders step up and say, ‘I’m going to pay for college tuition and tutoring.’ that kind of thing,” Ms. Gandara said. “But a match program like this is pretty unique.”

Ms. Gandara said many Hispanic immigrant families know the importance of a U.S. college education, although it is sometimes hard for the families to grasp how to plan financially because the educational systems in Latin America are different. For example, she said, most Mexicans stop their education at eighth grade because high schools charge tuition.

Mr. Hildreth said the belief that college is unobtainable is an idea he wants to change with the match program. He said an expanded version of it, with federal Pell Grants, will do for Hispanic immigrants across the country what the G.I. Bill did for the education of Mexican-Americans in Texas and California after World War II.

Mr. Hildreth said the group also is looking beyond Massachusetts. “I have a 10-year plan,” said Mr. Hildreth, “and I plan to be in LA one day.”

For now, officials with the education program were putting resources in Chelsea, a city of 37,000 next to Boston, where Hispanics make up about 80 percent of the student population. More than 85 percent of the city’s students are classified as “economically disadvantaged,” according to www.schoolmatters.com, a website that lists education data from across the country.

During a recent workshop on scholarships, a Chelsea High School graduate spoke to parents about her experience at the University of Massachusetts Boston and private scholarships. Parents listened closely and whispered to their children to translate.

“I don’t like to miss out on anything,” Chelsea resident Encarnacio Landaverde, 47, a mother of two college students and one in high school, said in Spanish. “Every bit of information is important.”

Her son, Oscar Lainez, a 15-year-old Chelsea High School student, sat next to her and translated speeches.

Also attending was Mr. Chavez. After his first meeting, he immediately put away $28 for daughter Carolina and $12 for his 9-year-old, Eileen Aleman. He vowed to put at least $25 a month in each account with the hopes of saving $1,500 for each when the girls graduate from high school.

Eileen, who wants to be a teacher or a doctor, said he can’t stop talking about it. “He wants us to become something in life,” Eileen said. “Not a bathroom cleaner.”