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Latino Role Models Inspire Students to Focus on College and Career at San Antonio's May 19 Youth Conference


Wed, 05/17/2017 - 10:56am — webmaster

San Antonio, Texas, May 17, 2017 — HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement) will unite Latino professionals with 130 San Antonio students from Anson Jones Middle School at St. Mary’s University for a youth conference on Friday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hosted by St. Mary’s Office of Student Retention with Annual Partner Educational Testing Service (ETS), the daylong conference, themed “Take Action! Achieve Your Dreams” fosters a college-going culture by introducing Latino youth to life on a university campus and to careers open to those with a college education.

HISPA, a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization, is building the pipeline of Latinos in higher education by mobilizing professionals to be role models, inspiring students’ academic achievement by demonstrating that they, too, can succeed through education and perseverance. Since 2007, HISPA’s 2,000 mentors have reached over 9,000 students in San Antonio, New Jersey, New York City and Florida.

“Research shows a strong correlation between students having a role model and their pursuit of higher education,” said Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, president and founder of HISPA. “We want these students, many of whom will be visiting a university campus for the first time, to see the power of education and to envision a life of possibility.”

The day will begin with a vision board activity led by Yorka Velasco-Caballero (Prospanica San Antonio) and welcoming remarks from St. Mary’s Dr. Tim Bessler. Speakers include keynote Janie Martinez Gonzalez from the San Antonio-based Webhead and inspirational addresses from Cristina J. Bazaldúa (Univision), Jared “Max” Edman and Joaquín Zihuatanejo (CoolSpeak).

Students will also choose from career-exploration workshops presented by Prospanica, Rackspace VIVA, San Antonio Water Systems and several St. Mary’s professors: José Tormos Meléndez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Chemistry; Evelynn Mitchell, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Environmental Science; and Carol Luckhardt Redfield, Ph.D., Professor of Computer Science and Graduate Program Director of Computer Science and Computer Information Systems. The Great Discovery, Based on 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, will be Presented by Dr. Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, National Diversity Council.

Annual Partner ETS is the lead funder of San Antonio’s 2017 Youth Conference. HISPA’s Annual Partners are ETS, Verizon, ESPN, AT&T, Comcast and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner.

For more details and to register to volunteer, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hispa-san-antonio-2017-youth-conference-tak...