New Jersey

We Did It! An Unforgettable 28th Youth Conference

Dear HISPA Role Models, Youth Conference volunteers and partners:

The HISPA team and Board of Directors would like to thank you for making the 2019 HISPA Youth Conference at Princeton University—our 28th conference to date—an extraordinary success for students and volunteers! This year, HISPA and 92 dedicated volunteers welcomed 149 students from Elizabeth, Hamilton, Passaic, Perth Amboy, Summit and Trenton. Together, we were able to provide these students engaging workshops and encouraging speakers, including the State of New Jersey’s Center for Hispanic Policy Research and Development’s (CHPRD) and the NJ Governor’s Hispanic Fellows. A special recognition and thank you to the CHPRD team: Sara Peña, Maria Miranda and Luisa Soto.

We would like to express our gratitude for your collaboration, time, effort, and support before the conference and throughout the day.

We begin by thanking our co-sponsor, Princeton University’s Office of Human Resources, for having us once again and for supporting all event premises and logistics. Thank you to Clara Stillwagon for offering welcoming remarks and representing Princeton’s HR team. We thank Ivette Martinez-Rivera for her support and motivation to continue powering such an amazing event, as well as Sally J. Buchanan for working hand-in-hand with Ivette in planning, scheduling, and answering all inquiries leading up to the event. Thanks to Vincent Stanley for leading logistical arrangements, setting up and sorting out all needs as they arose with a great calm and initiative. To Dan Walker and Calvin for on-site support at Frist Campus Center and providing top of the line technology and support throughout the day. And to Brenda Wood and the Campus Dining & Catering team for making sure all attendees were well taken care of with great service.

Thank you to our keynote speakers Dr. Dan-El Padilla Peralta for sharing his personal story and being a brilliant example of perseverance and success, and Minué Yoshida for her wonderful interactive presentation. We also thank Arturo Dominguez, Shannon Swilley Greco and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory volunteers for enthusiastically leading students through such an engaging workshop.

From the Graduate School at Princeton University, we thank Dr. Vanessa Gonzalez-Perez for sharing her story and experiences and for working alongside Joel Boggess to co-host lunch and arrange the educational and informative session and panel for the ‘Latinos in College’ track.

Thanks to the Office Provost for hosting the HISPA Role Models Networking Reception and for providing food and refreshments to the Latinos in College track volunteers and students. Thank you to Kevin Hudson for offering closing remarks and to Michele Minter for her continual support. We also thank the Princeton faculty, staff and Latino Princetonians who participated in the conference as partners and volunteers, led by Damaris Zayas and supported by Denise Valenti and Maria Sofia Delmastro. We are immensely grateful to have such a network of support from the Princeton community!

Thank you to Lead Sponsor Merck and MHO for providing a workshop for students and donating giveaway items. We were proud to have such an inspirational leader and role model Danila Giacone to plan, coordinate and lead the Merck workshop as well as assemble, coordinate and prepare the Merck volunteers: Brenda Valle Colon, Francisco Martinez, Michael Conuel, Patricia Jimenez, Maribel Cordero, Corina Norma Funez, Sandra Bautista Cid, Alan Bautista Cid, Jesus Guzman Vale and Eduardo Perez. Thank you to Itzia Arroyo for her support and great energy and as always to Alex Ibanez for being a liaison, amazing leader of the Merck team, and champion for all our programs.

Thank you to Lead Sponsors Novartis and Wells Fargo. Thank you to Sponsor Bristol-Myers Squibb and those from OLA for their assistance setting up the conference and engaging students in STEM during your hands-on workshop. To workshop leader Tony Rodriguez and volunteers Sandra Re, Elvira Bruscke, Alma Plasencia, Jairo Torres, Consuelo Ramos, Marcelo Couto, Leticia Ferri, Tulio Teixeira, Radha Ramakrishnan, Nicolas Fuentes, Claudia Generaux, Matteo Couto Frignani and Rafael Vega. Special thanks to Diana Gabriel and Kristina Gabriel for leading and coordinating workshop presenters and volunteer logistics throughout the day.

Thank you to Sponsor ETS. A special thanks to Damaris Garcia, who year after year plays a leading role in coordinating volunteers, registration tables, and event schedule. To Ruth Nicolai for the great partnership and wonderful donation of giveaway items. To Harry L. Davis for delivering all items to the conference premises. To President and CEO Walt MacDonald for his continuous support. To Lenora Green for her year-round guidance and championship; to Terri Flowers for her hands-on support during event planning and execution. Thanks to Diego Zapata-Rivera, René Lawless, Blair Lehman, Malcolm Bauer, Ian Blood, Florencia Tolentino and Kunle Babatunde for leading the ETS workshop with such positive energy and enthusiasm; and to Robert Finnegan, who made sure all the pieces were set and in place. Thank you to Rita Nini, Maria Hazell and Sylvia Ledesma for recruiting volunteers and preparing the giveaways with the support of Kathleen Bucchi, Maria Giraldo, Debra Gonzales, Kitara Washington, Nancy Waters and Erica Sokol.

Thank you to Sponsor PSEG and Adelante for their powerful participation. To Jorge L. Cardenas for serving as Master of Ceremonies and leading the morning session. And to the Adelante team for preparing two outstanding workshops for the students under the leadership of Fatima Calcado, Jennyfer Guerrero, Alanzo White and Antonio Fernandez, with the support of Tony Suppa, Utsav Khandelwal, Carmen Wiggins, Bianca Reyes and Marisol Ramirez.

We thank Collaborator Comcast for their financial support and a heartfelt thank you to Kimberly Smith for her championship of HISPA’s mission.

We thank Collaborators UPS and Crecer for supporting, planning and executing the morning hands-on activity: Steve Cox, Reynier Herrera, Adriana Wilson, Julio Minaya, Carlos Muñoz, Laralisa Hovland, Miriam Arocho and Brian Madden. And to Viviana Encarnacion, who ensured UPS presence by donating giveaways and coordinating UPS volunteers. The HISPA Role Models and Students Networking Session was an energizing start to the day and your support made it possible! Special thanks to Axel Carrion for sharing his expertise and passion during the Lessons in Career and Leadership panel for our university students.

We also thank Verizon and commend Nelson Caballero and Odiles Cardines for their leadership and great work throughout the year. Thank you to Ivan Berg for donating conference goodie items. Thank you for leading your workshop with the support of Alizanette Rodriguez, Ana G. Lua, Susana J. Corona, Karen Sebastian, Victor J. Romo-Aledo, Margaret Jasul Vazquez, Sameer M Melwani, Kelsi Stephanie Morrison, Michael Mallotides, Angeline Lopez, Jeffrey Torres, Michael Black, Stephanie Marie Black, Laura Colon, Leoncio Gomez and Portia Stewart.

Thanks to AT&T for their support as the co-hosts of the Latinos in College track, as well as for the volunteerism of the AT&T Aspire, oxyGEN and HACEMOS teams, particularly the workshop presentation led by and Christine Liu, Karla Kimble, Raymond Hu, Jason Swatsworth, Phillip Cunningham, and Pedro Mirabal. To Mayra Caceres whose constant passion allowed her to lead the HISPA Youth Conference and Latinos in College track with such grace. And to Celeste Carrasco for serving as Master of Ceremonies during the Latinos in College track morning session and for leading the panel to empower our college students and Fellows.

To Claudia Vasquez from Prudential and SOMOS for her leadership and support of tasks throughout the day as well as for being part of the panel for the college students and Fellows.

Thank you to the NJ Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program alumni: Michelle Perez for being part of the panel and inspiring us with your story, Dania Arias for her powerful opening remarks, and Nick Fuentes for assisting us throughout the day. Thanks to Jonathan Cabrera for his unique poetry presentation; you are an outstanding artist and students were moved by your inspirational work and performance.

Thanks to our inspirational speaker Gian Paul Gonzalez for such a dynamic and motivational story and for serving as a fantastic role model for everyone from Super Bowl stars to our superstar students.

Thanks to all those who joined us; who supported the distribution of materials, hands-on projects, lunch, tours; those who shared their stories as role models; and everyone who supported any aspect of the conference throughout the day. Thank you to the volunteers who put on their hat as HISPA team members–Henry Claisse, Emma Claisse, Misha Meyer, Madelyn Fink and Alyssa Tarantino–for working closely with us to put together a memorable day for students.

Thanks to Robert Figueroa for spending the day with us photographing the event and, as always, beautifully capturing the entire day’s programming. To view and download photos from the event, please visit this link

As always, special thanks to our 2018-2019 Annual Partners: Verizon Foundation (Co-founding), Educational Testing Service, the PSEG Foundation, Visa, and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner, and Annual Supporters, Merck and Wells Fargo.

Thank you to EVERYONE who joined forces with us to SHARE, INSPIRE and TRANSFORM!  We look forward to working with you again at future events.

Muy agradecidos!

Ivonne, Mauricio and the HISPA Team

Thank You for Making our Dream Come True!

Dear HISPA Role Models, Youth Conference volunteers and partners:

The HISPA team and Board of Directors would like to thank you for making HISPA’s first Youth Conference at Rutgers University–Camden—our 26th Youth Conference to date—an extraordinary day for students and volunteers alike! This year, 70 volunteers welcomed 128 young scholars from Philadelphia, Camden and Trenton to experience a diverse array of speakers and workshops. The conference was a dream come true for HISPA, which has worked for years to increase our presence in Camden—and YOU were the engine to make it happen! Gracias!  

We would like to express our gratitude for your time, effort, and support before the conference and throughout the day.

We begin by thanking our hosts, Rutgers University–Camden and Educational Testing Service (ETS), for opening their doors to us and providing the support needed to make the entire day possible. It was a pleasure to work with you both in all aspects of event planning, including outlining event logistics and securing speakers, workshop presenters and giveaway items.

To ETS, our sincerest thanks to Walt MacDonald for envisioning a Youth Conference at Rutgers, to Lenora Green for championing his vision, and to the Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy (CAAP) team for making this vision a reality; your inspiration, guidance, and commitment brought this remarkable experience to life for students and volunteers alike. Thank you to Terri Flowers for representing ETS by sharing her kind remarks with all attendees and for supporting the planning and execution of the event, as well as to Nate Santana who, after years as a HISPA Role Model, served as master of ceremonies. Thank you to Susan Mains for her continuous warmth and willingness to achieve the successful communications necessary to a successful conference. To Ruth Nicolai for providing giveaway items for students, teachers and volunteers. To Maria Hazell for coordinating ETS professionals to assemble all giveaway bags and prepare volunteers for event support throughout the day. To Diego Zapata-Rivera, Alexis A. Lopez, Blair Lehman, Irvin R. Katz, Beata Beigman Klebanov, and Malcolm Bauer for so thoughtfully planning a truly engaging workshop for students; to Florencia Tolentino, Jimmy Bruno and Jennifer Lentini for supporting this workshop; and to René R. Lawless for supporting logistical planning and preparing the team. Thanks to Rita Nini and Kitara Washington for leading the volunteers’ efforts at Rutgers and making sure every detail was attended to throughout the day. A special thanks to Damaris Garcia who, conference after conference, brings her expertise, leadership and boundless support throughout the planning and execution of all tasks leading up to and on the day of the event.

To Rutgers, thank you to Nyeema C.Watson for her direction and vision and for welcoming a HISPA and ETS initiative onto Rutgers University–Camden campus. To Provost Michael Palis and Chancellor Phoebe A. Haddon for their support and sharing their words of optimism with our attendees on behalf of Rutgers University. Thank you to Vice Chancellor Jason Rivera for leading the informative college student panel, as well as to the students whose experiences illuminated the many paths to college: Alma Aparicio, Javier Castro, Kimberly Flores, Kelly Medina, Monserrath Mendoza-Martinez from Rutgers–Camden and to Adrian Armendariz and Javier Becerrathe of the University of Pennsylvania SHPE Chapter. Thanks to Professor Joseph V. Martin and Q-STEP’s Veronica Rosselli, Trisha Trinidad, Emily McDermott, Harjit Khaira and Nidhi Baxi for delivering the Rutgers–Camden workshop, introducing young minds to neuroscience. We also want to highlight PJ Craig, Kristin Walker and Christina King for working hand-in-hand with HISPA in planning, scheduling, and leading logistical arrangements, as well as setting up for and sorting out all needs as they arose with great calm and initiative. Thanks to Ashley Dolce for assuring all transportation and parking arrangements ran as expected and to Michael Sepanic for his support with communications and branding. Finally, a special thank you to Christian and Ria for helping in the early morning and to David Tran for leading technology support throughout the day with patience and positive energy.

Thank you to Mayor of Camden Francisco Moran for welcoming students to your city’s Youth Conference and supporting educational institutions to power such initiatives for their students. Thank you to Senator Nilsa Perez-Cruz for her empowering speech, embodying for students the meaning of words like leadership and goal-seeking.

Thank you to our Lead Sponsor Wells Fargo not only for your financial support but also for providing a financial literacy workshop for students—a lesson we believe is of critical importance to their futures. We were proud to have Wanda L. Saez, an inspirational Latina leader dedicated to her community, leading this workshop alongside with Ivette Sanchez. We are immensely grateful to have a network of support from the Wells Fargo community!

We thank Sponsor Bristol-Myers Squibb and OLA. Thanks to Diana Gabriel and Tony Rodriguez for their care and commitment to preparing such a life-like workshop for students and introducing them to the possibilities of futures in STEM. And to the BMS workshop supporters: Jairo Torres, Connie Ramos, Janet Serrano Miranda, Johara Rivera and long-time HISPA Role Model Claudia Corredor.

We also thank our Sponsor Merck and MHO. We are grateful for the leadership of Alex Ibanez and for her guidance in putting together the teams within the MHO workshop. Thanks to keynote speaker Carlos Santiago, who shared how to achieve one’s dreams through perseverance and pursuing passion. To long-time HISPA Role Model Itzia Arroyo for helping with all the giveaway donations and event efforts throughout the day, as well as for planning and leading the creative and intriguing chemiluminescence workshop with Danila Giacone. To Merck workshop leaders Alan Goggins and Dominick Panzera, as well as to all the Merck volunteers: Sandra Bautista, Manny E. Garcia, Victoria Gemignani, Adolfo Pertuz, Salvador Espinosa, Zaida Colon and Cristina Aldana. Lastly, thanks to Frank de los Reyes for his reception remarks and for his long-time commitment to a Merck-HISPA partnership.

To Kyara and Valeria Torres-Olivares of Code Equal for their fresh and thoughtfully created workshop, and to Oscar Torres and Veronica Olivares for their support in the planning and execution of this workshop.

Thanks to our inspirational speakers: to Iris Delgado for sharing her dynamic and motivational story, serving as a fantastic role model for everyone. To Carlos Ojeda Jr. who year after year shows our students that knowledge is power and that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to with the power of their voices.

Thanks to Congreso de Latinos Unidos for their partnership and for enabling Philadelphia’s students to participate in the day, as well as to the support of Ashley Chambers, Melitza Iglesias and Christina Tanon for securing and managing all necessary details for students to join us.

A special thank you Liz Veliz who, as part of the HISPA family, serves graciously as lead volunteer in several of our events throughout the year. We are always grateful for and proud of Gabriela Monje, who has grown from a student of HISPA programs to now supporting us with school invitations and task support. And thank you to Henry Claisse and Jo-Ann Diaz from RPI for supporting workshops with their leadership and expertise in addition to assisting in organizing and setting up for the conference.

Thanks to Robert Figueroa for spending the day with us photographing the event and, as always, beautifully capturing the entire day’s programming. To view and download photos from the event, please visit our Flickr.

Finally, thanks to all those who joined us, as well as to those we may have missed: those who supported the distribution of materials, breakfast or lunch; those who led hands-on projects or tours; those who shared their stories and served as role models; and everyone who supported any aspect of the conference throughout the day, including Brent Beverley of Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Lydia Beverley; and a very special thanks to Youth Conference Collaborator Comcast and Unidos.

And as always, special thanks to all those who make HISPA’s educational programs possible: Co-founding Partner the Verizon Foundation; Annual Partners Educational Testing Service, the PSEG Foundation, Visa, and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner; and Annual Supporters Merck and Wells Fargo. Your generous support of our mission-driven educational programs made this and all our events possible.

Thank you to EVERYONE who joined forces at the HISPA’s 26th Youth Conference to SHARE, INSPIRE and TRANSFORM in Camden, New Jersey!  We look forward to working with you again at future events. Mil gracias!

Sincerely,

Ivonne, Mauricio and the HISPA Team

Latinos Unite at Princeton University to Inspire Future Leaders

Latinos Unite at Princeton University to Inspire Future Leaders

Princeton, NJ, June 4, 2019 — More than 150 New Jersey students will attend a unique motivational and career-focused conference at Princeton University on June 7. This will be nonprofit Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement’s 11th such youth conference. In addition to its traditional focus on middle and high school students, HISPA will also provide a program track for Latinos in college.

The Youth Conference, themed “Take Action! Achieve your Dreams,” will inspire the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students from Elizabeth, Passaic, Trenton, Hamilton, and Perth Amboy thanks to more than 75 professionals. These leaders in academia, business, science, technology, engineering and math will stress the importance of education and introduce students to STEM careers with hands-on workshops in pharmaceuticals, electromagentism, and more. For many students, it will be their first time on a university campus.

The “Latinos in College” track of the conference will introduce university students to diverse careers and help them build professional networks. Among the participants are the Class of 2019 of the New Jersey Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program, who will also answer the younger students’ questions about college life.

Attendees will hear from keynoter Dr. Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Assistant Professor of Classics at Princeton University, motivational speaker Gian Paul González and many leaders in other fields.

“We are extremely grateful to the public and private sector leaders who have joined our mission,” said Dr. Díaz-Claisse. “They understand the urgency of supporting Latino students to achieve and succeed in higher education and the impact their success will have on the future of America.”

Founded in 2007, New Jersey-based nonprofit HISPA is dedicated to mobilizing Hispanic role models to show students that they, too, can succeed academically and professionally. HISPA has worked with over 2,500 mentors and has reached more than 11,000 students in New Jersey, New York City, Florida and San Antonio, Texas.

This conference, HISPA’s 28th to date, is co-sponsored by the Office of Human Resources at Princeton University with the support of Lead Sponsors Novartis, Merck and Merck Hispanos Organization (MHO), and Wells Fargo. Sponsors are ETS, Bristol-Myers Squibb and its Organization for Latino Achievement (OLA), and PSEG and its Adelante employee resource group. Collaborators are Comcast, the Office of the Provost at Princeton University, UPS and its Crecer employee resource group.

The Latinos in College track is made possible by a partnership with the Office of Human Resources and the Graduate School of Princeton University, Latino Princetonians and CHPRD, and, co-hosted by AT&T.

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.

ETS and Rutgers–Camden Join Forces with HISPA to Inspire Local Youth to Pursue College Education and STEM Careers

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.

In Newark, Hispanic Role Models Commit to Inspiring Student Achievement

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

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.

Latino Youths Get Inspired to Lead

LATINO YOUTHS GET INSPIRED TO LEAD

Annual Conference at Princeton U. has STEM Focus

 

Princeton, NJ, June 8, 2018 — More than 150 Hispanic middle and high school students will convene at Princeton University on June 8 for a day-long STEM-focused educational conference. It will be the 10th annual conference that Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) has held at Princeton University and will bring students from Camden, Elizabeth, Hamilton, Perth Amboy and Summit. 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 more than 10,000 students in New Jersey, New York City, Florida and San Antonio, Texas.

The conference, themed “Take Action! Achieve Your Dreams,” brings middle and high school students to Princeton to explore STEM careers alongside more than 70 role models, experts in academia, business, science, technology, engineering and math. HISPA has held 24 Youth Conferences to date, including at Columbia University in New York and St. Mary’s University in Texas.

Students will hear from such accomplished professionals like keynote speaker NASA’s Jackelynne Silva-Martinez, who works in ISS and Orion mission planning. They will also participate in hands-on STEM-focused workshops. This year, students can choose to explore the Internet of Things (with AT&T), produce “medicine” according to pharmaceutical lab procedure (with Bristol-Myers Squibb), or participate in any of eight workshops presented by Educational Testing Service (ETS), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, PSEG, Prudential and Verizon.

“It is an honor to be celebrating our 24th Youth Conference, and our 10th at Princeton University,” said HISPA President and CEO Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse. “I am proud and grateful to celebrate this milestone with the volunteers and supporters who make HISPA’s work possible everyday.”

This year’s conference is co-sponsored by the Office of Human Resources at Princeton University and co-hosted by Verizon, with the support of Comcast, the Lead Sponsor. Sponsors are Bristol-Myers Squibb, ETS, Grainger, Merck and PSEG. Collaborators are the Office of the Provost at Princeton University, UPS and Crecer, and Wells Fargo. HISPA’s Annual Partners are AT&T, Comcast, ESPN, ETS, the PSEG Foundation, Visa and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner.

Hispanic Role Models Gather to Inspire the Future of America

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.