Hispanic Role Models Commit to Inspiring Student Achievement
HISPA Celebrates Historic Kick Off with Hosts Prudential and Hispanic Heritage Network
Princeton, N.J. – Nonprofit HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement), Prudential and Hispanic Heritage Network (HHN), the company’s Hispanic-serving Business Resource Group, will host a diverse group of employees to kick off a new academic year of role model programs for New Jersey youth. Also in partnership with Wells Fargo Latin Team Member Network and Latino Networks Coalition, the annual HISPA Role Model Program Kick-Off and Recruiting Event, themed “With the Endless Power of Our Voices,” will be held September 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Prudential in Newark, N.J.
HISPA mobilizes Latino professionals to visit local classrooms, share their stories, and introduce students to college and career opportunities. This event will bring together more than 200 such professionals dedicated to inspiring Hispanic youth to achieve their full potential.
“Prudential’s role in piloting this program is to help one of the fastest growing populations in America find professional role models,” said Joe Hayes, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Prudential Group Insurance. “We are proud to host the HISPA event and support programming that connects Hispanic youth to unique opportunities for growth, putting them on a pathway to long-term, sustainable success and helping them achieve financial wellness.”
HISPA’s first Kick-Off was held ten years ago, shortly after the idea for HISPA first began when the organization’s now-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, “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.
HISPA has since made 984 classroom visits and reached more than 10,000 students. The Kick-Off event will continue HISPA’s movement to share 20,000 stories by year 2020, an effort that continues forward because of recent funding from Wells Fargo, Investors Bank, the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development, and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner.
“I am in awe of what we have been able to accomplish since our first Kick-Off in 2008,” said Diaz-Claisse. “I began with the goal of recruiting 100 role models and today we have more than 2,500. I am honored to work with such accomplished volunteers and am excited to welcome more Hispanic professionals dedicated to inspiring the next generation.”
For more details or to register to attend, visit: https://2018-nj-kickoff.eventbrite.com
For more information about HISPA, visit www.hispa.org.
The 2018 NJ Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Have a Great Start
Princeton, NJ, June 8, 2018 — “I learned many life lessons that I will take with me forever, but besides that I finally had a feeling in my heart that my dreams could come true.”
Ana Olivera, a sophomore at Rutgers University – Newark, is reflecting on her first day as a Fellow in the New Jersey Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program. The program successfully launched on Friday, June 1, with Educational Testing Service (ETS) Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy (CAAP) hosting the Fellows’ Class of 2018 at its Princeton headquarters.
Sponsored by the State of New Jersey and overseen by the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development (CHPRD), the Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program is a competitive, eight-week summer program that recruits 20 Hispanic and Latino college students from across New Jersey. These Fellows are then placed in internships with partnering organizations from public and private sectors. They also participate in weekly workshops coordinated by the nonprofit organization Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) to build professional networks and foster leadership skills key to lifelong success. In addition to ETS, this year’s host organizations include Princeton University, AT&T, UPS, Wells Fargo, CHPRD, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Several State of New Jersey senior staff members took part in the kick-off: Secretary of State Tahesha Way, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Tiffany Williams, and Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development Sara Peña. Scott Nelson, ETS Senior Vice President of Strategy, Marketing & Growth and Chief Marketing Officer, and Lenora Green, Executive Director of CAAP, provided special remarks.
Jeffrey Vega, President and CEO of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, served as keynote speaker. Vega himself graduated from the Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program in 1989. The program began 30 years ago to address the unique challenges Hispanic and Latino college students can face, including a lack of professional and leadership development opportunities, career networks and role models.
In addition to HISPA President and CEO Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse’s testimony to what is possible with tenacity and higher education, the day concluded with workshops with career strategist and corporate trainer Rod Colón and leadership development coach Jeanette Iglesias.
“Those two workshops really challenged me to…learn about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, how to be proud of my background, and to be confident in what I say and what I do,” said Fellow Jasmine Burgos, a Rowan University student.
The Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program will continue its collaboration with HISPA on Friday, June 8. The Fellows will participate in the ‘Latinos in College’ Track of the HISPA Youth Conference, in partnership with the Graduate School at Princeton University and co-hosted by AT&T. The full-day conference will include corporate, academic, government and nonprofit speakers as well as a panel of graduate students. In addition to providing the Fellows an opportunity to share their stories as role models to New Jersey youth, this and future workshops will provide exceptional opportunities for leadership development and to build a network of mentors.
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.