San Antonio, TX – June 20, 2008
HISPA proudly sponsored the 2nd Annual HACEMOS Youth Conference in San Antonio, Texas on June 20. With the theme, “Life after High School,” students were offered an invaluable opportunity to spend a day with many role models representing diverse cultures and professional backgrounds, while learning about the importance of education.
The HISPA Youth Conference is a component of HISPA’s programs which offers Employee Resource Groups (ERG) an opportunity to collaborate with us during their professional conferences. ERGs exist within many of the country’s largest corporations. ERG conferences attract a large group of professionals and therefore provide a golden opportunity for students to have access to the professionals collective advice. The main objectives of the Youth Conference are to expose the students to as many role models as possible and to raise awareness about the importance of higher education.
The 2nd Annual HACEMOS Youth Conference started with opening remarks delivered by the president of HISPA, Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, who shared her passion for Math and the importance of following one’s dreams. The program continued with the keynote speaker, Judge Monica E. Guerrero, Current Administrative Judge for Bexar county court judges, who enthusiastically shared her life and educational experiences and kept the students engaged and interested. “I really enjoyed Judge Monica E. Guerrero. I thought she was really interesting and I could relate to a lot to the things she was saying.” – from students’ feedback forms.
Students were then divided into groups to attend various workshops. Here are some of the comments from the students: “The Mathematical Journey session was very enjoyable and increased my interest in Math. ROPES was very interactive which I enjoyed, it was fun and educational” – “These workshops had fun activities and showed how obstacles can get in our way but we can overcome them.” – “True colors helps you get better insight on yourself and others. It helps you see why people are the way they are. Amazing!”
After the workshops students joined the role models to share lunch and listen to Joaquin Castro, TX House of Representatives District 125. “Both speakers were very inspirational. I enjoyed listening to their advice on how they overcame their obstacles.”– “I love the way they shared their experiences because it makes you relate and be able to see how they are no different than you are.” – “I had so much fun and I gained knowledge and valuable advice. Thank you.”
The role models focused on sharing with the students the importance of education by showcasing their careers and encouraging them to aim high and pursue higher education. The sessions were well attended and students’ feedback was positive: ¨I really got to know about what colleges I should attend¨ – ¨I really enjoyed listening to my role models. I had a chance to talk to them as friends instead of a stranger to stranger talk. “They were all informational and came with a warm feeling of friendship”– “Provided us with good information on how to apply for scholarships and how the college experience was for them.”
Dr. Díaz-Claisse said at the end of the conference ¨HISPA is extremely grateful to all the role models that join in this effort, this youth conference was a team effort and the San Antonio HACEMOS leadership team was wonderful to work with. HISPA is thankful to HACU and HSF that join this initiative by providing informational material and joining in the event. I am honored to have had the opportunity to be here, all of us joining together to inspire our future generation”.