PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY—Nonprofit Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) will bring 150 middle-school students from Philadelphia, Trenton, and Camden for its 26th Youth Conference and first at Rutgers University–Camden. Alongside approximately 70 volunteers—mostly Hispanic and Latino professionals from regional companies representing careers in academia and business, as well as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)—students will enjoy a full day of hands-on activities and inspirational stories. For many students, it will be their first time on a university campus.
Founded in 2007, New Jersey-based nonprofit HISPA is dedicated to mobilizing Hispanic and Latino role models to show students that they, too, can succeed academically and professionally. HISPA has worked with over 2,500 mentors and has reached some 11,000 students in New Jersey, New York City, Florida and San Antonio, Texas.
The conference, themed “Take Action! Achieve Your Dreams,” is hosted by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Rutgers–Camden. It will emphasize the importance of high school to future success, excite students about college life, and engage students’ exploration of STEM field and careers. HISPA has held 25 Youth Conferences to date, including at Princeton University in Princeton and Columbia University in New York City.
Students will hear from the Mayor of Camden, Francisco Moran, New Jersey State Senator Nilsa Pérez-Cruz, and Merck executive Carlos Santiago, who will serve as keynote speaker. Telemundo62 reporter Iris Delgado and motivational speaker Carlos Ojeda will deliver inspirational addresses and several Rutgers University–Camden leaders will offer remarks, including Chancellor Phoebe A. Haddon, Provost Michael Palis, and Vice Chancellor Jason Rivera. College students from Rutgers–Camden and University of Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (SHPE) will also answer student questions.
They will also participate in hands-on STEM-focused workshops. This year, students can choose to learn about assessment technologies with ETS, chemiluminescence with Merck and Merck Hispanos Organization (MHO), finance with Wells Fargo, pharmaceutical lab procedure with Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Organization for Latino Achievement (OLA), neuroscience with Rutgers University–Camden, and coding with Code Equal.
This year’s conference is hosted by Rutgers University–Camden and ETS with lead sponsor Wells Fargo, sponsors Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck, and collaborator Comcast. HISPA’s educational programs are made possible by Co-founding Partner the Verizon Foundation. Annual Partners are Educational Testing Service, the PSEG Foundation, Visa, and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner. Annual Supporters are Merck and Wells Fargo.