HISPA Thanks Our 2018 New York City Youth Conference Supporters

Dear HISPA Role Models, Youth Conference Volunteers and Partners:

The HISPA team and Board of Directors would like to thank you for making the 2018 Columbia SHPE – HISPA New York Youth Conference—our third conference at Columbia University, and our 22nd overall conference to date—an outstanding success!  This year, 135 students joined us from across New York City and New Jersey. Young scholars from Elizabeth, Manhattan and the Bronx experienced a wonderful array of speakers, workshops and an amazing 86 inspirational role models. Mil gracias!

We would like to express our gratitude for your time, effort, dedication and support before the conference and throughout the day.

We begin by thanking our host, Columbia Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) for this wonderful collaboration, for supporting all event logistics and for hosting one of the workshops. Thanks to Briget D. Arndell for offering welcoming remarks and for representing the entire Columbia University team by supporting Columbia SHPE in every decision made. Thanks to Brandon Cuevas for his leadership and to Perla Canales, Ismael Villegas and Samuel Castro for working hand-in-hand in planning and scheduling, as well as managing all inquiries leading up to the event and of course presenting the STEM Major Trivia Bowl! workshop, which was exciting and inspiring for the attending students. Furthermore, we thank Deanna Kowal, Jimmy Sarmiento, Emerald Currie, Erin, Mark and Christopher Stowell for the on-site support at Alfred Lerner Hall and ensuring all logistics were on point and ready to go prior to and throughout the day. And thanks to Jasmine Pena and the Campus Dining – Catering team for making sure all attendees were taken care of with delicious food and excellent service.

Thanks to Elena Cabral, Adjunct Faculty and Assistant Director of Columbia University Student Services, for moderating the College Student Panel as well as the Columbia University students who joined us to talk about life after high school. Your stories truly make such an impression on our students.

A heartfelt thank you to keynote Dr. Silvia Mazzula of John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Latina Researchers Network for her care and commitment to being at our event as a role model for our students (and all of us!) as well as for her sharing of her fascinating life, mind and career with all who attended. Congratulations once again on your continued success!

We thank ESPN and SOMOS for their support as Lead Sponsor, for donating giveaway items, and for uniting the powerful SOMOS team and leading the afternoon activity that sparked the creativity of all students and professionals working together. Thank you to the outstanding leadership of Kalidia Reyes, Calu X. Rodriguez, Marilyna Rodriguez, Leo Arciniegas, Rosa Illescas and the support of Jackson L. Davis, Jennifer G. Altarriba, Gelsomina Picariello, Griselda D. Ramirez, Cynthia Villalobos, Antonietta Collins, Sergio Verdu and Hector E. Cruz-Rodriguez.

We also thank our 2018 Co-Founding Partner Verizon and the HSO team for joining together in these efforts. To Ivan Berg, Vice President of Verizon Partner Solutions Operations, for his welcoming remarks and encouraging the students to follow and pursue their dreams. To Mitch Sanchez, James Vera and Odiles Cardines for creating and leading an inspiring hands-on workshop that truly highlighted technology and engineering in their lives. To Derrick Gwin, Warren Chase, James Walsh, Rebecca Burgos, Miguel Martinez, Martin Lopez, Elia E. Migenes-Figueroa, Rebecca M. Newman-Mahoney, Furgencio Herrera, Elliot O. Garcia, Miriam Marte-Marun, Javier G. Vasquez, Jolene Phillips-Neal and Carolina Escalona. A very special thanks to Verizon Foundation representatives Michelle Joseph and La-Tonia B. Middleton-Jackson for working with us to facilitate the participation of additional students.

Thank you to Ashley Vasquez for working hand-in-hand with all of the HISPA team to put together a memorable day for students.

Thanks to AT&T for their support as well as for the volunteerism of the Aspire, oxyGEN and HACEMOS teams. We are always thankful to Mayra Caceres, who has been involved with HISPA for the last nine years, for her leadership and support with every aspect of the conference. We first thank her as well as Christine Liu and Raymond Hu for leading the workshop presentation with the support of Philip Cunningham, Emily Lu, Pedro Mirabal, Jason Swatsworth and Utkarsh Raj.

Our deep thanks to Bristol-Myers Squibb and those from OLA for their collaboration in setting up the conference, engaging students in STEM and inspiring minds as role models and volunteers. Thanks to workshop leaders Tony Rodriguez and William Valencia, and to Diana Gabriel for her continual guidance and leadership.

Thanks to Thomson Reuters for supporting this event and making the day possible for our students, especially to Alicia Garcia, Preston Tan, Yvette Chiavaro-Sanchez, Raquel Galan, Yasmin Ramirez, Veronica Arboleda, Tony Castillo and all those who came together for an inspirational and engaging day for students.

We thank UPS and Crecer for supporting, planning and executing the morning hands-on activity and donating giveaway items: Viviana Encarnacion, Manfred Morales, Michelle Ynsinare, Romina Gimenez, Florideliz Rosado, Beverly Sommer, Yanina Hernandez, Marina Batista and Luis Cabreja.

Thank you to Prudential and the Hispanic Heritage Network for their collaboration and for donating giveaway items. Cheers to our new partnership on upcoming initiatives and thanks to Claudia Vazquez, Jomara Negron, Marilyn Castro, Bob Candella, Julie Maffre, Ruth Hernandez, Marien Villegas, Leo Ruiz and Rosmery Osuna for planning and powering such an eye-opening workshop in financial wisdom.

To Damaris Garcia of ETS for her positive energy and enthusiasm and the non-stop support throughout the day of the event, taking care of a variety of different tasks wherever you were needed as well as making sure all catering was on point for our students and volunteers.

To Edward Montenegro of SHPE, thank you for his attendance and positive attitude.

Special and continual thanks to Walter Rodriguez of Verizon who, year after year, plays a leading role. Your spirit was there with us!

Thanks to our inspirational speaker Carlos Ojeda Jr. for such a dynamic and motivational story and serving as a fantastic role model for everyone.

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 Verizon, Annual Partners AT&T, Comcast, Educational Testing Service, PSEG, Visa, Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner, and Annual Supporters Merck and UPS for their generous support of our mission-driven educational programs.

Thank you to EVERYONE who joined forces at the Columbia Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and HISPA’s 22nd Youth Conference to SHARE, INSPIRE and TRANSFORM in New York City! We look forward to working with you again at future events. Mil gracias!


Ivonne, Mauricio and the HISPA Team