Columbia SHPE Hosts HISPA’s 25th Youth Conference

HISPA Invites Latino Students to Dream of STEM

Columbia SHPE Hosts HISPA’s 25th Youth Conference


Princeton, NJ, March 11, 2019 — Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement and Columbia Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (Columbia SHPE) will bring 150 Hispanic middle and high school students to Columbia University on March 15 for a day-long STEM-focused educational conference. HISPA’s 25th Youth Conference to date will host students from New York City as well as Elizabeth and Passaic, NJ. 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,” brings middle and high school students to Columbia 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 Princeton University in Princeton and St. Mary’s University in Texas. This year, HISPA will also hold its first Youth Conference at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ.

Students will hear from such accomplished professionals like Verizon Senior Vice President Magda Yrizarry, several Columbia University leaders, and award-winning poet and Coolspeak motivational speaker Joaquín Zihuatanejo. They will also participate in hands-on STEM-focused workshops. This year, students can choose to work with FIOS networking (with Verizon HSO), pretend to produce pharmaceutical products according to lab procedure (with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)), compete in the STEM Major Trivia Bowl (with Columbia Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)), and explore the Internet of Things (with AT&T) or Cybersecurity (with Refinitiv and Latino Networks Coalition).

This year’s conference is hosted by Columbia University’s SHPE, co-hosted by Verizon, lead sponsor ESPN, and sponsored by BMS. 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.