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HISPA to Launch Platform of 20,000 Inspirational Stories for our Youth

Princeton, NJ – By 2036, it is predicted that one in three students in U.S. public schools will be of Hispanic heritage. However, the proportion of Hispanic students who do not graduate from high school is twice as high as that of non-Hispanic white students. One potential reason for this disparity? A lack of access to relatable role models. 

HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement) has been in the forefront of addressing this problem and creating successful solutions through its programs. In 2017, HISPA began the ‘20,000 Stories for 2020’ project, a dedicated effort to expand its programs and ramp up the number of stories shared by HISPA Role Models. One of these programs is ‘20,000 Stories for our Youth’, a web-based platform to collect Hispanic role models’ stories and share them in one place, all in a way that is easily accessible by Hispanic youth, their parents, teachers and counselors. This platform will be especially critical in light of mounting concerns over the coronavirus known as COVID-19, which is prompting schools to close and many programs to come to a halt.

“HISPA Role Models are experts in story-telling. For 13 years, we have mobilized successful, highly-skilled Latino professionals to share their stories and serve as role models for Latino youth,” said HISPA President and CEO Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse. “However, HISPA is based on the belief that everyone deserves access to role models. With ‘20,000 Stories for our Youth’, Latino students everywhere will be able to access these stories, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in HISPA programs.”

HISPA is currently in the first phase of ‘20,000 Stories for our Youth’, working with several organizations to collect an initial batch of 300 stories. The collection will grow from there as HISPA seeks student feedback and continues outreach to their entire professional network.

HISPA will be collecting these stories as writing, audio recording, and video. The stories will focus on role models’ lives: their backgrounds, the obstacles they have overcome, and the paths they have taken to college and career success. Ultimately, students will be able to filter the ‘20,000 Stories for our Youth’ results based on gender, ethnicity, field of study and career to find role models and stories that most align with their interests.

Over the coming weeks, HISPA will be providing information on how to gain access to the ‘20,000 Stories for our Youth’ platform.