Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School students, pictured from left, front row, Maria Sanchez, Ashley Benitez, Matthew Murillo, and Andrew Ledezma, gather for a photo with school staff members and representatives of HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Student Performance and Achievement), who were guest speakers at the school’s “Latino Leadership Luncheon” held on April 30. In the back row are HISPA representatives Alvin Ruiz, Fernando Bringas, and Mario Springer; Arturo Lopez, Summit High School ESL teacher; and Cristina Martinez, guidance counselor at the middle school.
The goal of HISPA is to inspire Hispanic students to focus on their education by introducing them to Hispanic professionals, who share their personal, academic, and professional experiences with the students. Mr. Ruiz is a senior manager with Pfizer, Inc., and holds masters’ degrees in technology management and aeronautical engineering. Mr. Bringas, a native of Lima, Peru, is a graduate of Summit High School. He is a financial analyst at Accenture, Inc. Mr. Springer graduated from the University of Chicago and received a law degree from the University of Virginia; he is assistant general counsel for ADP in Roseland. HISPA luncheons have been held with Summit High School students for the past two years. The April 30 event was the first time LCJ Summit Middle School students had the opportunity to meet and speak with the HISPA representatives. The events are coordinated by the Summit Schools World Language Department and funded by the Summit Area YMCA.