Youth Conferences

First Annual HISPA Youth Conference in NYC, Powered by Latina Researchers – Coming April 4th at John Jay College

Princeton, NJ, March 25, 2014 – Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA), with the support of the Latina Researchers Network (LRN), will host the first annual HISPA Youth Conference in New York City on April 4. The day-long event is themed “Take Action, Achieve Your Dreams,” and will take place at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. It coincides with the LRN conference at the same location.
Founded in 2006, HISPA places Latino professionals in middle schools to tell their stories and inspire students to excel and plan for higher education. LRN, founded in 2012, responds to Latina underrepresentation in advanced research disciplines and careers. It helps prepare the next generation of diverse researchers through access to role models and allies to help Latinas succeed in academia and research fields.
Since its founding in New Jersey, HISPA has extended its Role Model Program to San Antonio, Texas and New York City, where it began in three schools in 2013. More than 100 students from the Inwood Academy for Leadership will attend the conference, for most their first time on a college campus. They will also visit Columbia University after the conference concludes with the support of the Latino Caucus of School of Social Work at Columbia.
Silvia L. Mazzula, Ph.D., Director of LRN and Assistant Professor, John Jay College, and Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, Ph.D., founder and President of HISPA and former AT&T data analyst, will deliver welcome remarks. Professor Mazzula is the former president of the Latino Psychological Association of New Jersey.
“Everyone who has committed to join us on this journey leads by example, showcasing the power of collaboration,” said Dr. Díaz-Claisse. “The 300 successful HISPA and LRN Latino role models who will participate at John Jay College will allow students to believe that they, too, can aspire to higher education and highly-skilled careers.”
“This collaboration between HISPA and the Latina Researchers Network is historic and has the potential to transform the way we think about pipeline development,” noted Debra Joy Pérez, Ph.D., VP, Research, Evaluation and Learning at The Annie C. Casey Foundation and a plenary speaker at the LRN event. “It acknowledges that we are interdependent and that we recognize that the future of high-quality scholarship like that of Latina researchers starts with early investments programs like HISPA.”
The youth conference Lead sponsor is ESPN and the Event sponsor is Bristol-Myers Squibb. Funding for the LRN Conference is provided primarily by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. HISPA’s annual partners are Educational Testing Service, Comcast and Southwest Airlines.

The Agenda

Following the successful model used at Princeton University for five years, the HISPA Youth Conference will feature:
• STEM focused hands-on workshops with Latino Employee Resource Groups: ESPN GOAL, VIACOM SOMOS, Ogilvy & Mather LatinRed and Bristol-Myers Squibb OLA;
• A panel titled “Life after High School” presented by the Latino Caucus of School of Social Work at Columbia University; the Latino Caucus is providing volunteers to support the conference;
• Dr. Alicia Abella, Executive Director of the Innovative Services Research Department at AT&T Labs, keynoter, focusing on her educational achievements in obtaining a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Columbia and her exciting professional career;
• Carlos Ojeda, CEO of CoolSpeak, inspiring students through his own story of sacrifice and triumph.
For further information on LRN and their conference, visit
For further information on HISPA visit
For event poster:…