Dear HISPA Role Models, Youth Conference volunteers and partners:
The HISPA team and Board of Directors would like to thank you for making HISPA’s first Youth Conference at Rutgers University–Camden—our 26th Youth Conference to date—an extraordinary day for students and volunteers alike! This year, 70 volunteers welcomed 128 young scholars from Philadelphia, Camden and Trenton to experience a diverse array of speakers and workshops. The conference was a dream come true for HISPA, which has worked for years to increase our presence in Camden—and YOU were the engine to make it happen! Gracias!
We would like to express our gratitude for your time, effort, and support before the conference and throughout the day.
We begin by thanking our hosts, Rutgers University–Camden and Educational Testing Service (ETS), for opening their doors to us and providing the support needed to make the entire day possible. It was a pleasure to work with you both in all aspects of event planning, including outlining event logistics and securing speakers, workshop presenters and giveaway items.
To ETS, our sincerest thanks to Walt MacDonald for envisioning a Youth Conference at Rutgers, to Lenora Green for championing his vision, and to the Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy (CAAP) team for making this vision a reality; your inspiration, guidance, and commitment brought this remarkable experience to life for students and volunteers alike. Thank you to Terri Flowers for representing ETS by sharing her kind remarks with all attendees and for supporting the planning and execution of the event, as well as to Nate Santana who, after years as a HISPA Role Model, served as master of ceremonies. Thank you to Susan Mains for her continuous warmth and willingness to achieve the successful communications necessary to a successful conference. To Ruth Nicolai for providing giveaway items for students, teachers and volunteers. To Maria Hazell for coordinating ETS professionals to assemble all giveaway bags and prepare volunteers for event support throughout the day. To Diego Zapata-Rivera, Alexis A. Lopez, Blair Lehman, Irvin R. Katz, Beata Beigman Klebanov, and Malcolm Bauer for so thoughtfully planning a truly engaging workshop for students; to Florencia Tolentino, Jimmy Bruno and Jennifer Lentini for supporting this workshop; and to René R. Lawless for supporting logistical planning and preparing the team. Thanks to Rita Nini and Kitara Washington for leading the volunteers’ efforts at Rutgers and making sure every detail was attended to throughout the day. A special thanks to Damaris Garcia who, conference after conference, brings her expertise, leadership and boundless support throughout the planning and execution of all tasks leading up to and on the day of the event.
To Rutgers, thank you to Nyeema C.Watson for her direction and vision and for welcoming a HISPA and ETS initiative onto Rutgers University–Camden campus. To Provost Michael Palis and Chancellor Phoebe A. Haddon for their support and sharing their words of optimism with our attendees on behalf of Rutgers University. Thank you to Vice Chancellor Jason Rivera for leading the informative college student panel, as well as to the students whose experiences illuminated the many paths to college: Alma Aparicio, Javier Castro, Kimberly Flores, Kelly Medina, Monserrath Mendoza-Martinez from Rutgers–Camden and to Adrian Armendariz and Javier Becerrathe of the University of Pennsylvania SHPE Chapter. Thanks to Professor Joseph V. Martin and Q-STEP’s Veronica Rosselli, Trisha Trinidad, Emily McDermott, Harjit Khaira and Nidhi Baxi for delivering the Rutgers–Camden workshop, introducing young minds to neuroscience. We also want to highlight PJ Craig, Kristin Walker and Christina King for working hand-in-hand with HISPA in planning, scheduling, and leading logistical arrangements, as well as setting up for and sorting out all needs as they arose with great calm and initiative. Thanks to Ashley Dolce for assuring all transportation and parking arrangements ran as expected and to Michael Sepanic for his support with communications and branding. Finally, a special thank you to Christian and Ria for helping in the early morning and to David Tran for leading technology support throughout the day with patience and positive energy.
Thank you to Mayor of Camden Francisco Moran for welcoming students to your city’s Youth Conference and supporting educational institutions to power such initiatives for their students. Thank you to Senator Nilsa Perez-Cruz for her empowering speech, embodying for students the meaning of words like leadership and goal-seeking.
Thank you to our Lead Sponsor Wells Fargo not only for your financial support but also for providing a financial literacy workshop for students—a lesson we believe is of critical importance to their futures. We were proud to have Wanda L. Saez, an inspirational Latina leader dedicated to her community, leading this workshop alongside with Ivette Sanchez. We are immensely grateful to have a network of support from the Wells Fargo community!
We thank Sponsor Bristol-Myers Squibb and OLA. Thanks to Diana Gabriel and Tony Rodriguez for their care and commitment to preparing such a life-like workshop for students and introducing them to the possibilities of futures in STEM. And to the BMS workshop supporters: Jairo Torres, Connie Ramos, Janet Serrano Miranda, Johara Rivera and long-time HISPA Role Model Claudia Corredor.
We also thank our Sponsor Merck and MHO. We are grateful for the leadership of Alex Ibanez and for her guidance in putting together the teams within the MHO workshop. Thanks to keynote speaker Carlos Santiago, who shared how to achieve one’s dreams through perseverance and pursuing passion. To long-time HISPA Role Model Itzia Arroyo for helping with all the giveaway donations and event efforts throughout the day, as well as for planning and leading the creative and intriguing chemiluminescence workshop with Danila Giacone. To Merck workshop leaders Alan Goggins and Dominick Panzera, as well as to all the Merck volunteers: Sandra Bautista, Manny E. Garcia, Victoria Gemignani, Adolfo Pertuz, Salvador Espinosa, Zaida Colon and Cristina Aldana. Lastly, thanks to Frank de los Reyes for his reception remarks and for his long-time commitment to a Merck-HISPA partnership.
To Kyara and Valeria Torres-Olivares of Code Equal for their fresh and thoughtfully created workshop, and to Oscar Torres and Veronica Olivares for their support in the planning and execution of this workshop.
Thanks to our inspirational speakers: to Iris Delgado for sharing her dynamic and motivational story, serving as a fantastic role model for everyone. To Carlos Ojeda Jr. who year after year shows our students that knowledge is power and that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to with the power of their voices.
Thanks to Congreso de Latinos Unidos for their partnership and for enabling Philadelphia’s students to participate in the day, as well as to the support of Ashley Chambers, Melitza Iglesias and Christina Tanon for securing and managing all necessary details for students to join us.
A special thank you Liz Veliz who, as part of the HISPA family, serves graciously as lead volunteer in several of our events throughout the year. We are always grateful for and proud of Gabriela Monje, who has grown from a student of HISPA programs to now supporting us with school invitations and task support. And thank you to Henry Claisse and Jo-Ann Diaz from RPI for supporting workshops with their leadership and expertise in addition to assisting in organizing and setting up for the conference.
Thanks to Robert Figueroa for spending the day with us photographing the event and, as always, beautifully capturing the entire day’s programming. To view and download photos from the event, please visit our Flickr.
Finally, thanks to all those who joined us, as well as to those we may have missed: those who supported the distribution of materials, breakfast or lunch; those who led hands-on projects or tours; those who shared their stories and served as role models; and everyone who supported any aspect of the conference throughout the day, including Brent Beverley of Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Lydia Beverley; and a very special thanks to Youth Conference Collaborator Comcast and Unidos.
And as always, special thanks to all those who make HISPA’s educational programs possible: Co-founding Partner the Verizon Foundation; Annual Partners Educational Testing Service, the PSEG Foundation, Visa, and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner; and Annual Supporters Merck and Wells Fargo. Your generous support of our mission-driven educational programs made this and all our events possible.
Thank you to EVERYONE who joined forces at the HISPA’s 26th Youth Conference to SHARE, INSPIRE and TRANSFORM in Camden, New Jersey! We look forward to working with you again at future events. Mil gracias!
Ivonne, Mauricio and the HISPA Team
Latinos Unite at Princeton University to Inspire Future Leaders
Princeton, NJ, June 4, 2019 — More than 150 New Jersey students will attend a unique motivational and career-focused conference at Princeton University on June 7. This will be nonprofit Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement’s 11th such youth conference. In addition to its traditional focus on middle and high school students, HISPA will also provide a program track for Latinos in college.
The Youth Conference, themed “Take Action! Achieve your Dreams,” will inspire the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students from Elizabeth, Passaic, Trenton, Hamilton, and Perth Amboy thanks to more than 75 professionals. These leaders in academia, business, science, technology, engineering and math will stress the importance of education and introduce students to STEM careers with hands-on workshops in pharmaceuticals, electromagentism, and more. For many students, it will be their first time on a university campus.
The “Latinos in College” track of the conference will introduce university students to diverse careers and help them build professional networks. Among the participants are the Class of 2019 of the New Jersey Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program, who will also answer the younger students’ questions about college life.
Attendees will hear from keynoter Dr. Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Assistant Professor of Classics at Princeton University, motivational speaker Gian Paul González and many leaders in other fields.
“We are extremely grateful to the public and private sector leaders who have joined our mission,” said Dr. Díaz-Claisse. “They understand the urgency of supporting Latino students to achieve and succeed in higher education and the impact their success will have on the future of America.”
Founded in 2007, New Jersey-based nonprofit HISPA is dedicated to mobilizing Hispanic role models to show students that they, too, can succeed academically and professionally. HISPA has worked with over 2,500 mentors and has reached more than 11,000 students in New Jersey, New York City, Florida and San Antonio, Texas.
This conference, HISPA’s 28th to date, is co-sponsored by the Office of Human Resources at Princeton University with the support of Lead Sponsors Novartis, Merck and Merck Hispanos Organization (MHO), and Wells Fargo. Sponsors are ETS, Bristol-Myers Squibb and its Organization for Latino Achievement (OLA), and PSEG and its Adelante employee resource group. Collaborators are Comcast, the Office of the Provost at Princeton University, UPS and its Crecer employee resource group.
The Latinos in College track is made possible by a partnership with the Office of Human Resources and the Graduate School of Princeton University, Latino Princetonians and CHPRD, and, co-hosted by AT&T.
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.
PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY—Nonprofit Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) will bring 150 middle-school students from Philadelphia, Trenton, and Camden for its 26th Youth Conference and first at Rutgers University–Camden. Alongside approximately 70 volunteers—mostly Hispanic and Latino professionals from regional companies representing careers in academia and business, as well as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)—students will enjoy a full day of hands-on activities and inspirational stories. 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,” is hosted by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Rutgers–Camden. It will emphasize the importance of high school to future success, excite students about college life, and engage students’ exploration of STEM field and careers. HISPA has held 25 Youth Conferences to date, including at Princeton University in Princeton and Columbia University in New York City.
Students will hear from the Mayor of Camden, Francisco Moran, New Jersey State Senator Nilsa Pérez-Cruz, and Merck executive Carlos Santiago, who will serve as keynote speaker. Telemundo62 reporter Iris Delgado and motivational speaker Carlos Ojeda will deliver inspirational addresses and several Rutgers University–Camden leaders will offer remarks, including Chancellor Phoebe A. Haddon, Provost Michael Palis, and Vice Chancellor Jason Rivera. College students from Rutgers–Camden and University of Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers (SHPE) will also answer student questions.
They will also participate in hands-on STEM-focused workshops. This year, students can choose to learn about assessment technologies with ETS, chemiluminescence with Merck and Merck Hispanos Organization (MHO), finance with Wells Fargo, pharmaceutical lab procedure with Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Organization for Latino Achievement (OLA), neuroscience with Rutgers University–Camden, and coding with Code Equal.
This year’s conference is hosted by Rutgers University–Camden and ETS with lead sponsor Wells Fargo, sponsors Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck, and collaborator Comcast. 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.
Dear HISPA Role Models, volunteers, and supporters,
All of us at HISPA would like to thank you for supporting our 2019 New York City Youth Conference. This was our fourth conference at Columbia University and our 25th conference to date—and what an outstanding success! This year, 150 students joined us from across New York City and New Jersey. Young scholars from Elizabeth, Passaic, Manhattan and the Bronx heard from inspirational and accomplished speakers and got their hands and minds busy in your workshops, all alongside 80 amazing role models. Mil gracias!
As always, we would like to acknowledge you for your time, effort, dedication and support before the conference and throughout the day.
We must begin by thanking our hosts, the Columbia Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), who make this day possible. We cherish our collaboration and are grateful for you supporting all event logistics, hosting a workshop for students, and sharing your insights with them during the panel. Thanks to Leora Brovman for your eye-opening inspiration. Thanks to Marnie Whalen for offering welcoming remarks and for representing the Columbia University team by supporting Columbia SHPE in every decision made. Thanks to Brandon Cuevas, president of Columbia SHPE, for his leadership directing all operations to make this conference a reality, and to Perla Canales for working hand-in-hand with us, supporting Brandon, and preparing and presenting the STEM Major Trivia Bowl! workshop, which was exciting and informative for the attending students. Thank you to all the Columbia SHPE members who became part of the day: Adheli Gonzalez, Samuel Castro, Frankcarlos Castro, Victoria Cardenas, Veronica Montanez, Saul Partida, Peter Cruz-Grace, and Jeanie Handal.
Furthermore, we thank Deanna Kowal, Jimmy Sarmiento, Erin, Felix, Mark and Samuel for the on-site support at Alfred Lerner Hall and ensuring all logistics, technology and catering ran smoothly throughout the day.
Thanks to Elena Cabral for moderating the College Student Panel as well as the Columbia students who joined us to talk about life after high school. Your stories truly mean so much to our students; you make everything we try to communicate about college come to life for them.
We also thank Co-host and 2019 Co-Founding Partner Verizon along with the HSO team for being such a huge part of this event. A heartfelt thank you to Magda Yrizarry for serving as our keynote speaker and encouraging the students to follow their hearts and pursue their dreams, and to Maria Melchiorre and Olivia Paladino for supporting Magda’s outstanding presentation. To Martin Lopez for his leadership: his ongoing support and passion for education bring our events to life. To Walter Rodriguez for his commitment year after year, lending experience and guidance to head conference operations. To Mitch Sanchez and Jay Albino for creating and leading an engaging hands-on workshop that made words like “technology” and “engineering” visible in their lives in real and tangible ways. To Odiles Cardines and Ivan Berg for your continued support, making sure every conference is a success and that students take home cool gifts to remember the day. And finally, to Antonina Roman, Derrick Gwin, Miguel Martinez, Leon Gomez, and Rebecca Burgos for supporting us all day long, from event set-up to student dismissal.
We warmly thank Lead Sponsor ESPN and SOMOS for their support. We are grateful to have sponsors like you and hope you can join us at future events!
Our deep thanks to Sponsor Bristol-Myers Squibb and those from OLA for their collaboration. We love working with your team, from setting up the conference to bringing a lab to life for our students. Thanks to workshop leaders and presenters Tony Rodriguez, Denise Rivera, Alby Hubert, Claudia Generaux, Consuelo Ramos, Gowtham Lnu, Jairo Torres, Radha Ramakrishnan, Ritu Arora and Silvi Chacko. And a sincerely special thank you to Diana Gabriel for her great leadership and collaboration with HISPA.
Thank you to AT&T and the Aspire, oxyGEN and HACEMOS teams. A special thanks to Mayra Caceres who always shows up early, stays late, and brings a contagious, radiant enthusiasm for STEM to the students around her. We also thank Christine Liu and Philip Cunningham for leading the workshop presentation along with Emily Lu, Pedro Mirabal, Raymond Hu and Jason Swatsworth.
Thanks to the groups whose support made this event not only possible but informative and engaging. First to the Latino Networks Coalition for bringing many hands together, Refinitiv and Thomson Reuters, especially to Alicia Garcia, Rafael Martinez and Yvette Chiavaro-Sanchez for their leadership and for the volunteerism of Alejandra Sanchez, Yasmin Ramirez, Tamara Dews, Raquel Galan, Veronica Arboleda, Enrika Charles and Rogelio Escalona. Thank you to Anthem, Inc. for the items donated to teachers and speakers as well as to the volunteers who help to support the variety of tasks that pop up throughout the day: Beth Marmolejos, Julia Lounsberry, Mariela Meneses, William Garrido, Erica Pena, Evelyn Rodriguez-Rubio, Khalilah Abdullah, Claribel Blake and Patricia Pacheco.
We thank UPS and Crecer for waking students up with a stimulating morning hands-on activity: to Viviana Encarnacion for her outstanding leadership, communication, and support; to Steve Cox for guiding students and volunteers through the activity with clarity and enthusiasm; and to the entire team: Julio Minaya, Jessie Orellana, Frank Casalinho, Pablo Medina, Paul Falco, Eytone Ruiz, Luis Cabreja, Luis Morales and Michelle Ynsinare.
To Damaris Garcia of ETS for her support throughout the day of the event, taking care of whatever was needed as well as making sure all catering was on point for our students and volunteers. Thanks to Terri Flowers: her seemingly infinite hands guarantee success and excellence. And a very special thank you to Ruth Nicoli for supporting to all our conferences with amazing giveaways for the students and speakers.
A huge thanks to the Pariveda Solutions New York City team and Jorge Diaz Ortiz and Madison Wheeler for assembling and delivering all goodie bags for students, volunteers and teachers.
Thanks to our inspirational speaker Joaquin Zihuatanejo for his breath-taking presentation of encouragement, love and pursuing your goals—sometimes with surprising results. Thank you to Carlos Ojeda and Coolspeak for your many years of support. Students leave invigorated because of your and your amazing team of speakers!
Thanks to all those who joined us; who supported the distribution of materials, hands-on projects, lunch, tours; those who shared their stories and served as role models to New York and New Jersey youth; and everyone who supported any aspect of the conference throughout the day.
Thanks to Robert Figueroa for spending the day with us photographing the event and, as always, beautifully capturing the entire day. To view and download photos from the event, please visit HISPA’s flickr.
As always, special thanks to our Co-founding Partner the Verizon Foundation; Annual Partners Educational Testing Service, the PSEG Foundation, Visa, and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner; and our Annual Supporters Merck and Wells Fargo.
Thank you to EVERYONE who joined forces at the Columbia Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and HISPA’s 25th Youth Conference to SHARE, INSPIRE and TRANSFORM in New York City! We look forward to working with you again at future events. Mil gracias!
El Diario has recently covered HISPA’s March 15 Youth Conference at Columbia University.
Written by Carmen Molina Tamacas, the article was released April 2. You can read it in Spanish here: https://eldiariony.com/2019/04/02/estudiantes-latinos-pueden-sonar-con-las-carreras-stem/.
You can also view photos from the event here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/76356429@N02/albums/72157679426443968.
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 […]
By Michelle Peal
Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) held its annual awards gala, the Three Kings Banquet, on January 10, 2019, at Pines Manor in Edison, NJ. HISPA mobilizes Latino professionals to serve as role models in educational programs in their communities, and some 300 leaders from the public and private sectors gathered to celebrate the contributions of more than 2,500 Hispanic role models.
“Today, HISPA is over 2,500 role models strong,” said Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, HISPA CEO. “Tonight’s awardees are just a few shining examples of our role models’ bravery and what each of our individual contributions can do to make a real difference in young peoples’ lives.”
HISPA volunteers visit middle schools, participate in youth conferences and other programs with one common goal: to inspire students to stay in school, pursue higher education and achieve their dreams. Since its 2007 founding in New Jersey, HISPA has extended its Role Model Programs to Texas, New York, and Florida.
One highlight of the evening is the awards presentation recognizing those who have excelled in their personal commitment and financial support of HISPA’s mission. The following organizations and individuals received awards:
Corazon Award – St. Mary’s University
Leadership in Mentoring Award – Latino Networks Coalition
Share Award: Role Model of the Year – Joe Vincente, UPS
Inspire Award: Champion of the Year – Claudia Vazquez, Prudential Financial
Transform Award: Sponsor of the Year – Verizon Foundation
“It’s a partnership that has grown and blossomed, and we’ve been able to do some really great stuff,” said John Carrillo, director, Outreach Initiatives, St. Mary’s University. St. Mary’s has hosted HISPA’s San Antonio Youth Conference for five years now. “We do try our best to go above and beyond and try to provide the best service to the organization.”
“With the kids we try to tell them don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to network. Get involved,” said Joe Vicente, IT Manager, UPS.
“I feel very honored to have the support of my company to be able to achieve so much for the students. We’ve been able to help over 100 students, and I feel proud of the opportunity I have received,” said Claudia Vazquez, director, Product Management & Transformation Initiatives, Prudential Financial.
“Latino youth are very important, and as professionals we want to make sure our youth know that we were once in their shoes and that their dreams are possible,” said Alicia Garcia, Latino Networks.
“We’re very happy to be able to help with the magnificent work of HISPA. You don’t do these things to win, but it’s nice to be recognized,” said Martin Lopez, portfolio manager, Verizon.
The Three Kings Banquet coincides with the January 6 holiday of Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day, the traditional gift-giving period of the Nativity in Spanish-speaking countries. HISPA selected this theme to thank the volunteers and patrons who share their gifts in support of educational equity and opportunity for Hispanics.
Princeton, NJ – Corporate and other leaders who help advance Hispanic youth education and careers will be honored at the annual Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) Three Kings Banquet on January 10. To take place at Pines Manor in Edison, NJ, it will gather some 300 public and private sector leaders, educators and elected officials.
A nonprofit organization active in New Jersey, New York, Texas and Florida, HISPA has mobilized some 2,500 role models to inspire some 11,000 students to date. Their message: they, too, can fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams through education.
The Three Kings Banquet coincides with the January 6 feast of the Epiphany, known as Three Kings Day, the gift-giving period in Spanish-speaking countries. HISPA recently marked its 1,000th classroom visit where Hispanic role models shared their stories of perseverance to inspire middle school students to excel. HISPA selected this theme to thank persons who share their gifts in support of educational opportunity for Hispanics.
HISPA honors those who excel in their commitment to, participation in and financial support of the programs. The “Transform” Award for Sponsor of the Year will go to the Verizon Foundation, its “Inspire” Award for Champion of the Year to Claudia Vazquez of Prudential and its “Share” Award for Role Model of the Year to Joe Vicente of UPS. The Latino Networks Coalition will receive the Leadership in Mentoring Award, while St. Mary’s University will receive the “Corazón” Award given to organizations that support HISPA via in-kind support.
Gold Sponsor Prudential, Silver Sponsors AT&T and PSEG, and Bronze Sponsors Bristol-Myers Squibb, PNC Bank and UPS will support the event. HISPA also extends a special thank you to Investors Bank, Verizon, Wells Fargo, Merck, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Comcast and Manolo’s Chili.
“This event celebrates the Latino professionals across sectors who have joined forces to step into classrooms and validate students’ visions for their futures,” said HISPA President and CEO Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse.
“This year is very special, as we surpassed 1,000 classroom visits,” she added, “That means thousands of role models and supporting entities believe in the power of our voices. They have accepted our invitation to unite and bring role models to our youth.”
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.
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.
The 2018 NJ Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Have a Great Start
Princeton, NJ, June 8, 2018 — “I learned many life lessons that I will take with me forever, but besides that I finally had a feeling in my heart that my dreams could come true.”
Ana Olivera, a sophomore at Rutgers University – Newark, is reflecting on her first day as a Fellow in the New Jersey Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program. The program successfully launched on Friday, June 1, with Educational Testing Service (ETS) Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy (CAAP) hosting the Fellows’ Class of 2018 at its Princeton headquarters.
Sponsored by the State of New Jersey and overseen by the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development (CHPRD), the Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program is a competitive, eight-week summer program that recruits 20 Hispanic and Latino college students from across New Jersey. These Fellows are then placed in internships with partnering organizations from public and private sectors. They also participate in weekly workshops coordinated by the nonprofit organization Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) to build professional networks and foster leadership skills key to lifelong success. In addition to ETS, this year’s host organizations include Princeton University, AT&T, UPS, Wells Fargo, CHPRD, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Several State of New Jersey senior staff members took part in the kick-off: Secretary of State Tahesha Way, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Tiffany Williams, and Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research and Development Sara Peña. Scott Nelson, ETS Senior Vice President of Strategy, Marketing & Growth and Chief Marketing Officer, and Lenora Green, Executive Director of CAAP, provided special remarks.
Jeffrey Vega, President and CEO of the Princeton Area Community Foundation, served as keynote speaker. Vega himself graduated from the Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program in 1989. The program began 30 years ago to address the unique challenges Hispanic and Latino college students can face, including a lack of professional and leadership development opportunities, career networks and role models.
In addition to HISPA President and CEO Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse’s testimony to what is possible with tenacity and higher education, the day concluded with workshops with career strategist and corporate trainer Rod Colón and leadership development coach Jeanette Iglesias.
“Those two workshops really challenged me to…learn about myself, my strengths and weaknesses, how to be proud of my background, and to be confident in what I say and what I do,” said Fellow Jasmine Burgos, a Rowan University student.
The Governor’s Hispanic Fellows Program will continue its collaboration with HISPA on Friday, June 8. The Fellows will participate in the ‘Latinos in College’ Track of the HISPA Youth Conference, in partnership with the Graduate School at Princeton University and co-hosted by AT&T. The full-day conference will include corporate, academic, government and nonprofit speakers as well as a panel of graduate students. In addition to providing the Fellows an opportunity to share their stories as role models to New Jersey youth, this and future workshops will provide exceptional opportunities for leadership development and to build a network of mentors.