Hispanic Role Models Step into Classrooms to Inspire Future Leaders
HISPA Kicks-Off Second Year in Miami
Princeton, N.J. – On October 24, a dozen Latino professionals—HISPA Role Models from companies like ESPN, UPS and Visa—stepped into Kinloch Park Middle and Miami High School classrooms to inspire the next generation of highly skilled professionals. These volunteers shared their stories of overcoming obstacles, the key steps they took to pursue higher education and achieve their educational and professional goals.
Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) seeks to overcome the lack of role models as a key reason why students fail to pursue a college education. CEO Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse credits her accomplishments to a math professor who validated her dream of becoming a mathematician. She believes that all Hispanic students deserve mentors like him, and with the Hispanic population projected to grow to 107 million by 2065, developing talent is critical to the future of America.
Since 2008, HISPA has mobilized thousands of professionals as HISPA Role Models, organizing and executing 762 school visits in New Jersey, New York City, San Antonio—and now, for the second year, Miami.
“Although Hispanic Heritage Month ended on October 15, celebrating Hispanic professionals’ accomplishments is part of what HISPA does every single day,” said Díaz-Claisse. “Latino professionals enjoy giving back by inspiring our youth; and our data show that their messages increase students’ willingness to go on to higher education.”
To continue to engage the community in its programs, HISPA will hold a recruiting event on October 26 hosted by the City of Miami Office of the Mayor, with the support of Latino professional organization Prospanica and event sponsors Protec and UPS. For more details or to register to attend, visit: https://hispamiamikickoff.eventbrite.com.
HISPA events and educational programs are made possible by HISPA’s Co-Founding Partner, the Verizon Foundation, and Annual Partners the Comcast Foundation, Educational Testing Service, the PSEG Foundation, Visa, and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s airline partner. For more information about HISPA, visit www.hispa.org.
Hispanic Role Models Gather to Inspire the Future of America
UPS, Crecer and HISPA Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Princeton, N.J. – Nonprofit organization HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement) will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at their annual HISPA Role Model Program Kick-Off and Recruiting Event themed, “20,000 Inspirational Stories = One Empowering Voice” on October 16 at 5:30 pm at UPS in Parsippany, N.J. Hosted by UPS and Crecer, the Hispanic/Latino Business Resource Group, the Kick-Off will bring together some 200 professionals dedicated to inspiring Hispanic youth.
The event will take place only 30 minutes from where HISPA began ten years ago, when the organization’s CEO, Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, stepped into a Newark classroom. She saw so many young Hispanic students who reminded her of herself as a child and was moved to share the obstacles she faced growing up in Puerto Rico. As a girl with a passion for math, teachers doubted her ability and discouraged her from pursuing an advanced degree. She found a role model in a Puerto Rican professor who had earned his Ph.D. in mathematics in the U.S. Inspired, she went on to do the same.
After speaking, a young Latina approached her and said, “I love chemistry. Now I know I can pursue a Ph.D., too.” Diaz-Claisse realized that Hispanic youth could not aspire to something they didn’t see. She left her ten-year career behind to lead HISPA, which mobilizes Hispanic professionals to serve as role models and examples to motivate students to stay in school and pursue a college education.
HISPA has since grown to 2,500 role models who together have made 762 classroom visits, sharing their stories with more than 9,000 students. The Kick-Off event will continue HISPA’s movement to share 20,000 stories by year 2020. Efforts and accomplishments like these lead to HISPA’s formal commendation by the New Jersey State Senate last week in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
“In a way, HISPA celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month every month of the year by showcasing the accomplishments of Hispanic professionals as a way to inspire the next generation,” said Diaz-Claisse.
Kick-Off speakers include Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) CEO, Cid Wilson; UPS Foundation President, Ed Martinez; and UPS Chief Information and Engineering Officer, Juan Perez.
HISPA events and educational programs are made possible by HISPA’s Co-Founding Partner, the Verizon Foundation, and Annual Partners the Comcast Foundation, ETS, the PSEG Foundation and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner.
For more details or to register to attend, visit: https://hispa2017nj-kickoff.eventbrite.com.
For more information about HISPA, visit www.hispa.org.