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Princeton, NJ. Sept. 15 – On the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month, New Jersey-based nonprofit HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement) celebrates the honor of being named a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (Initiative). This recognition acknowledges the thousands of stories HISPA Role Models have shared with Hispanic/Latino students to inspire them to pursue higher education. As a “Bright Spot” organization, HISPA will be part of a national online catalog of over 230 programs that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics.
HISPA places Hispanic/Latino professionals in middle schools to serve as role models and show students that they too can excel in higher education and beyond. HISPA's educational programs—including the HISPA Role Model Program and STEM-focused Youth Conferences—have grown from four to as many as 25 schools in New Jersey and into New York City and San Antonio, mobilizing over 2,000 role models and reaching more than 6,000 students.
The Initiative was established in 1990 to address the educational disparities faced by Hispanics. By sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice and effective partnerships, the Initiative seeks to leverage and encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues, ultimately increasing support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community, from cradle-to-career.
Alejandra Ceja, Executive Director of the Initiative, announced the program to launch Hispanic Heritage Month and in honor of the Initiative’s 25th anniversary in Washington, DC. “There has been notable progress in Hispanic educational achievement, and it is due to the efforts of these Bright Spots in Hispanic Education, programs and organizations working throughout the country to help Hispanic students reach their full potential,” said Ceja.
“We are extremely honored to be recognized for our contributions to the Latino educational pipeline,” said HISPA Founder and CEO, Ivonne Díaz-Claisse. “We see HISPA as a movement in which Latino professionals from the public and private sectors have come together to eradicate one of the top reasons why Latino students don’t pursue higher education: a lack of role models.”
HISPA will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at two Role Model Program Kick-Off and Recruiting Events, October 7 in New York City and October 20 in Newark, New Jersey. For more details and for information about HISPA, visit www.hispa.org.
To view the “Bright Spots in Hispanic Education” national online catalog, visit www.ed.gov/HispanicInitiative.