ETS’s Center for Advocacy & Philanthropy proudly supported this year’s Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) Role Model Program.
During the 2019-2020 school year, the Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) Role Model Program coordinated 286 school visits by role model volunteers to 34 schools. The program brings professionals into schools to share their educational and career journeys with students with an emphasis on the importance of higher education and future goals.
Visiting a group of eighth-graders in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Daniel Hernandez, an ETS Research Software Developer and HISPA Role Model, shared, “Presenting my story to the students was a very rewarding experience and made me feel good about myself knowing the value I bring to the community.”
Ernest Battle, Assessment Specialist in Assessment Learning and Technology Development K–12, served as a HISPA Role Model in a San Antonio school. “I let the students know that unimaginable positive outcomes can result by simply saying ‘yes’ to new challenges and opportunities,” said Battle.
As a strategy to further motivate students, HISPA has developed “20,000 Inspirational Stories for Our Youth.” This web-based resource allows students to search for stories by various topics, including country of heritage, colleges attended, degrees obtained and obstacles overcome. With the support of ETS’s UNIDOS Business Resource Group, Alberto Acereda, Celeste Eppinger, Yvonne Kuykendall, Sylvia Ledesma and Nate Santana have added their stories to the platform.
Learn more about HISPA and find out how you can get involved.
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.
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.
The City of Miami, Office of the Mayor, Hosts Role Model Program Kick-Off Event
Princeton, NJ – National nonprofit organization HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement) is launching their role model-based programming in Miami—as well as their newest initiative, VISION 2020: an effort to recruit Hispanic role models to share 20,000 inspirational stories with students. The launch and campaign will begin with the HISPA Miami Role Model Program Kick-Off and Recruiting Event, hosted by the City of Miami, Office of the Mayor, on September 30 at 5:30 pm. The evening will bring together Latino professionals from public and private sectors dedicated to inspiring our youth, including leaders from the Office of the Mayor, the Southern District of Florida Department of Justice, ESPN, UPS and Visa, among others. Read more
EPS Superintendent Addresses Attendees of HISPA Program Kick-Off Event
PSEG Foundation, Adelante and HISPA Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month
Newark, NJ, October 20, 2015 – The PSEG Foundation and PSEG’s Hispanic/Latino Employee Business Resource Group Adelante will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by hosting the HISPA Role Model Program Kick-Off and Recruiting Event on Tuesday, October 20 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at PSEG’s Corporate Headquarters in Newark, N.J. The event, themed “Honoring Our Stories, Building America’s Future,” will bring together Latino professionals dedicated to inspiring our youth, including leaders from HISPA and Adelante as well as those from academia, government, corporate and non-profit sectors. CoolSpeak will present HISPA’s Role Model training program “Know Your Role, Model the Change” prior to the kick-off event.
New York, Oct. 8, 2014 – Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) and the New York City Chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) will host a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Kick-Off and Recruiting Event, at the Microsoft headquarters located at 11 Times Square on Wednesday, Oct. 8 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. HISPA and SHPE NYC leaders will be joined by professionals from academia, government, business and the non-profit sectors to commit to A Legacy of Stories, A Present of Action, A Future of Success for our Youth, the theme selected for the event. The event is sponsored by ESPN and its Latino/Hispanic employee resource group, GOAL!.
The HISPA Role Model Bureau kicks off its 5th year on September 25 during a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration hosted by the Merck Hispanos Organization.
WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ, September 24 – Scores of Hispanic professionals will enlist in a role model program on September 25 that will put them in middle school classrooms to inspire students to excel and go on to higher education. The 5th annual “kick-off” and recruiting event will take place at 5:30 p.m. at Merck Headquarters in Whitehouse Station, NJ.
Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School students, pictured from left, front row, Maria Sanchez, Ashley Benitez, Matthew Murillo, and Andrew Ledezma, gather for a photo with school staff members and representatives of HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Student Performance and Achievement), who were guest speakers at the school’s “Latino Leadership Luncheon” held on April 30. In the back row are HISPA representatives Alvin Ruiz, Fernando Bringas, and Mario Springer; Arturo Lopez, Summit High School ESL teacher; and Cristina Martinez, guidance counselor at the middle school.