Youth Conferences


Dear HISPA Role Models, Youth Conference Volunteers and Partners,
On behalf of HISPA, we thank you for making the HISPA New Jersey 2015 Youth Conference at Princeton University an outstanding success! Thank you for your time, commitment, friendship, and support before the conference and throughout the day.

 The 155 students from seven New Jersey middle schools experienced a wonderful array of speakers, workshops and lots of inspirational role models. And YOU made this possible. Mil gracias!
We would like to express our gratitude and highlight your contributions. First, we thank our co-sponsors, Princeton University’s Office of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion for hosting us and supporting all event logistics and Romy Riddick (congratulations on your promotion!) for her remarks during the opening session. Thanks to Ivette Martinez-Rivera and Elsie Wirth for their non-stop support in planning and logistics, working hand-in-hand to answer all the inquiries we had.
Thanks to Michele Minter and the Office of the Provost for hosting the HISPA Networking Reception, providing food and refreshments to over 60 Youth Conference volunteers, and for her generous words. Special thanks to Kevin Hudson for helping us with all the logistics before the event. We are grateful to have the support of the Princeton University community.
We thank PSEG for joining us as a partner. A special thank you to Fatima Calcado and Michelle Soto (PSEG Adelante) for their hard work in planning, developing, and leading their PSEG workshop, for their ongoing support of HISPA, and for working with us to continually improve our conference.
Thanks to ETS for their partnership and for their in-kind support: to Yvette Donado for her year-round guidance; assistance before, during, and after the event; and speaking at the HISPA Networking Reception; and to Lenora Green for her leadership and support of HISPA and the HISPA Youth Conferences! We also thank Frank Gomez for his boundless support in all aspects of HISPA. Thanks to Sylvia Ledesma for helping us prepare for the event, warmly hosting our guests, and taking photos throughout the day. Thanks to Michelle Peal for supporting press release development and distribution. Thanks to Rebecca Baerga for her help as workshop lead volunteer, connecting workshop facilitators with appropriate scheduling and helping with registration throughout the event. Thanks to Shari Rutherford for single-handedly leading a workshop and for her positive energy and support throughout the day. Thanks to all those who chose to spend time with us, greeting people and busses at the doors; ensuring attendees had necessary materials; coordinating seating; guiding people throughout the event; monitoring session time; and supporting any aspect of the conference: Anna Bayo, Robert Finnegan, Julia McGuire, Damaris Garcia and Natalie Tellez. Special thanks to Terri Flowers and Laurie Russell for securing the ETS giveaway items for the students.
A heartfelt thanks to keynote speaker Dr. Luis Delgado-Aparicio (PPPL) for your dedication to being at our event as a Role Model for our students and for sharing your fascinating life and career with all who attended. Congratulations once again on your continued success!
Thanks to Rod Colón for moderating the college students’ panel and the university students—the NJ Governor’s Hispanic Fellows—who joined us in the panel discussion in addition to John Canela from NJIT who also shared his experiences as a panelist. Your stories are truly a source of inspiration to the students.
Thanks to UPS Crecer for sponsoring the HISPA Role Model Breakfast, and to Julio Minaya and Martha Paez for your help throughout the day.
Thanks to Axel Carrión (UPS) for his outstanding performance as the conference’s emcee, his help with technical aspects of the conference during the day, and for your ongoing belief in and involvement with HISPA.
Thanks to Isabel Cabrera and Mayra Cáceres (AT&T) for your guidance throughout the planning and execution of the conference and Pete Cornell (AT&T) for capturing the event year after year.
Thanks to those from Siemens Science Time for supporting the HISPA Role Models and Students Networking Session, donating drawstring bags, and planning and executing the morning hands-on activity. The kids’ excitement testing their designs during the egg drop was an energizing start to the day! Thank you Miguel Ramirez, Kristine Kayser and Walter Trinkl for your leadership and Arturo Pizano and Michael Kunst for supporting the activity and engaging students in the conference. Our thanks to Carlos Gomez for supporting the preparation of all aspects of the event during the week and throughout the day and for facilitating this workshop along with Henry Claisse (The Hun School). Special thanks to Neel Shah (The Hun School) for supporting preparations the day before the conference.
Thanks to Francisco Gonzalez and Dr. Edward Belbruno (Princeton University) for their workshop leadership for teachers and those interested in the intersection of science and arts, respectively.
Thanks to those from Bristol-Myers Squibb and BMS OLA for their collaboration, engaging students in STEM and inspiring minds as workshop Role Models, and coming together to support our students and the conference: Catherine Fanego, Catharine Nunez, Celeste Cutillo, Denise Rivera, Diana Gabriel, Gloria Fung, Iveliz Kock, Jairo Torres, Leticia Quinones, Krishna Kuspudi, Maria Egoavil, Quibio Garcia, Ritu Aurora, Sandra Everett, Tony Rodriguez, Tunde Babalola, and Victor Irizarry-Vargas. You all make an excellent team!
Thanks to Orlando and María Rivera for leading the always-engaging App Development workshop and their ongoing support. Thanks to Joanne Rodriguez and Oscar Torres (Verizon) for the truly awesome support in facilitating this workshop and so many aspects of the conference, and a very special thanks to Walter Rodriguez (Verizon) for his leadership as workshop rooms lead volunteer: coordinating and guiding workshop facilitators and supervisors; and preparing each room’s AV equipment, facilitator bios, instructions, and water in addition to supporting set-up the day before the event.
Thanks to the Partnership For a Drug-Free New Jersey for donating CDs to give away to students and Diane Higgins for this unique collaboration. Thank you to the outstanding artists for their inspirational performances: Sehmon Burnam, Mille Diaz, Carlos Duran, Hennesis Encarnacion, Sarah Kertesz, Christopher Mendoza, and Josiah Valerius.
Thanks to our inspirational speaker Carlos Ojeda, Jr. from CoolSpeak for dynamically sharing you story and serving as a fantastic role model for all. The students love you!
Thanks to all of those who served as HISPA Role Models and workshop leaders, and those who were ready to work and supported the distribution of materials, hands-on projects, lunch, tours, and any aspect of the conference supporting the students throughout the day (including set-up and clean up): Elizabeth T. Patten (President, Latino Princetonians); Anech Sanchez-Gomez; Damaris Zayas and Yolanda Sullivan (Princeton University); Daniel Gomez (Rutgers University); Gloria Cevallos (Bergen Community College); Gabriela Monje; Guillermo Merino; Judith Ramos; Kevin Aspel; Kimberly López Espinoza; Lauren Jacobs (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center); Maria Joyce; Maria Rivera; Sonia Batra (Bloomingdales/Batra Worldwide); Dr. Stephanie J. Hull (The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation); and Yarisa Walsh (TD Bank). You were an essential part of the conference success!
Our deep thanks to Herlinda Sifuentes and Mildred Medina for their support in all aspects of the execution of the event.
Special thank you to Sonia Estevez (Samsung) for donating the door prize!
Thanks to those from Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth for donating items to the conference; and to Comcast and Kimberly Smith for joining us during the event; Merck Hispanos Organization, Samsung, SHPE NJ, and the US Census Bureau; and PNC Bank and Vanessa Nazario for donating calculators for the students giveaway bags.
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 and enter the password: hispa.
As always, special thanks to our annual partners: ETS, Verizon, ESPN, Comcast and Southwest Airlines for their generous support of our mission-driven educational programs.
Thank you to everyone who joined forces at the HISPA Youth Conference to SHARE, INSPIRE and TRANSFORM in New Jersey! We look forward to working with you again at future events. Mil gracias!
Herlinda, Mauricio, Aixa, and Ivonne