Hispanic Role Models Demonstrate that Dreams Can Come True at San Antonio Youth Conference


HISPA’s Inspirational Conference Brings Students to St. Mary’s University to Explore College Life and Future Careers

Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) will partner with St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX, on Wednesday, May 23, to host its college and career-focused Youth Conference themed, “Take Action! Achieve Your Dreams”.

Founded in 2007, New Jersey-based nonprofit HISPA mobilizes Hispanic professionals to serve as role models, inspiring students by showing them that they, too, can succeed academically and professionally. HISPA has worked with more than 2,500 mentors and has reached more than 10,000 students in San Antonio, New Jersey, New York City and Florida.

The HISPA Youth Conference will bring together more than 230 individuals, including more than 170 students from Anson Jones and Gus Garcia Middle Schools. An important focus of the conference is to support the development of a college-going culture in schools located in underserved communities. The event will engage students in hands-on workshops alongside Latino professionals — many with advanced degrees — as well as expose them to life on a university campus.

“It is so important to validate young Latinos’ dreams and aspirations,” said HISPA President Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse. “To have over 100 Hispanic leaders take the time to show students that anything is possible with education and perseverance is a testimony to the power of collaboration with outstanding partners who share a common vision.”

Students will hear from a variety of speakers, including keynote Raquel Tamez, an alumna of St. Mary’s University School of Law, who practiced law for nearly 20 years before becoming CEO of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) in 2017.

Conference activities include hands-on STEM-exploration workshops. This year, students may choose to explore social media (presented by Prospanica), computer code (presented by Rackspace VIVA), cybersecurity (presented by BEAT), chemistry, physics or engineering (all presented by St. Mary’s University).

HISPA’s 2018 San Antonio Youth Conference is made possible by St. Mary’s University Enrollment Management, co-host Educational Testing Service (ETS), and collaborators Association of Hispanic Municipal Officials, Webhead, Citibank and the Hispanic/Latino Heritage Network San Antonio. HISPA’s annual funders are the Verizon Foundation, AT&T, Comcast, ETS, Merck, the PSEG Foundation, UPS, Visa and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner.