JEROME, Idaho - The University of Idaho has launched a new project aimed at helping some Latino students in southern Idaho prepare for college.

The university's Latino Pre-College Outreach Project will work with 40 middle school students in Jerome, providing mentoring and tutoring, family support and information about higher education.

UI chief diversity officer Yolanda Bisbee says the university wants to build culturally responsive relationships and show that higher education is within reach.

Jerome School District Superintendent Dale Layne told The Times-News that the school would like to provide similar services to all students, but it's difficult with the limited number of school counselors in the district.

The idea for the project came after UI President Chuck Staben created a Latino Advisory Council.