Hispanic Professionals Unite to Inspire New York City Youth

Hispanic Professionals Unite to Inspire New York City Youth

National Nonprofit HISPA’s Conference Hosted by Columbia University Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers


Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) and Columbia Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) will host a Youth Conference at Columbia University for over 100 greater New York City area middle-school students on Friday, March 9.

Since 2006, nonprofit organization HISPA has worked across New Jersey, New York, Texas and Florida to unite over 10,000 Latino students with some 2,500 professionals. These positive, successful Latinos serve as role models, sharing their educational and professional journeys to validate students’ dreams and aspirations and build the pipeline of Latinos in higher education.

This conference—made possible by Co-Host Verizon and Lead Funder ESPN, with support from Columbia Journalism School—will be HISPA’s 22nd to date. Themed “Take Action! Achieve Your Dreams,” HISPA Youth Conferences emphasize the importance of high school and introduce students to future college and career opportunities via a variety of interactive STEM activities and motivational speakers.

This year, the event will bring together Columbia SHPE members and HISPA volunteers, including professionals from Latino/Hispanic Employee Resource Groups of Bristol-Myers Squibb (OLA), ESPN (SOMOS), Prudential (Hispanic Heritage Network), UPS (Crecer), Verizon (HSO), and AT&T (HACEMOS).

One critical component of HISPA’s Youth Conferences are the hands-on educational workshops, which this year will cover topics including data transmission, digital technologies and the Internet of Things. Students may also take part in essential pre-college informational sessions focused on STEM majors and financial know-how.

The conference’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Silvia Mazzula, an award-winning educator, mental health researcher, and author based in New York City.  She is the executive director of the Latina Researchers Network and associate professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminal—a notable achievement, as less than 4% of all professors in the country are Latina.

Inspirational speaker Carlos Ojeda Jr. will close out the day. Ojeda is the CEO of CoolSpeak, the nation’s leading youth engagement company that assists children in finding their goals and dreams and encouraging them to pursue those ambitions to the fullest.

HISPA would like to thank Co-Founding Partner Verizon, Annual Partners AT&T, Comcast, Educational Testing Service, PSEG, Visa, Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner, and Annual Supporters Merck and UPS.