Organized after-school activities promote positive youth development across a range of outcomes. To be most effective, organized activities need to meet high-quality standards. The eight features of quality developed by the National Research Council’s Committee on Community-Level Programs for Youth have helped to guide the field in this regard (Eccles & Gootman, 2002). However, these standards have largely been defined in terms of universal developmental needs, and do not adequately speak to the growing ethnic and racial diversity within the U.S., which is further complicated by issues of power and social class differences. Given US population shifts and after-school funding priorities, the time has come to consider new ways to provide organized after-school activities that are responsive to youth’s culture and everyday lives. The overarching goal of this presentation is to explore how aspects of ethnic culture, related to the individual and the activity setting, might shape Latino youth’s participation and experiences in organized activities.

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