THE HISPA ROLE MODEL PROGRAM
The HISPA Role Model Program enables Hispanic professionals to step into classrooms as positive examples for our youth. During each visit, two HISPA Role Models share their cultural, educational, and professional experiences that allowed them to achieve their dreams—and show students that they can do the same. Visits are tailored to school and student need, ranging from small group discussions to large auditorium presentations, but all emphasize the importance of higher education and introduce potential future careers.
WHY MIDDLE SCHOOLS? WHY ROLE MODELS?
Research indicates that intervention is necessary at an early age. According to the Juvenile Assessment Center, the dropout process begins early: many students have “mentally dropped out of school much earlier than when they finally stop going to class.” Students tend to exhibit warning signs one to three years before dropping out, and most drop out early in high school.
Research also shows strong correlation between having a role model and pursuing education. By uniting middle-schoolers with successful, relatable role models, HISPA eradicates one reason why Latinos do not pursue higher education: a lack of role models.
Latino students need role models to help them see their educational opportunities and how to navigate the college system. For many of these students, this knowledge may not be available from other sources.
Not all children have to ask themselves the question, “Can I really be a teacher, doctor, astronaut, or politician?”