Youth Conferences

Volunteer Latino Professionals Will Say “¡Presente!” at June 11 Youth Conference in Princeton

NJ-Based HISPA Role Model Bureau’s 2nd Annual Event Features STEM Fields

PRINCETON, NJ – On Friday, June 11th, dozens of Latino professionals in a variety of fields including science, technology, engineering and mathematics will gather in Princeton to spend the day with middle school students from New Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Red Bank to relay their formula for success: a combination of education and hard work with a heavy dose of dreams.

That message falls in line with the theme for the HISPA Role Model Bureau 2010 Youth Conference: “Take Action! Achieve Your Dreams”. About 70 professionals and 125 students will attend the event to be held at the Frist Campus Center on the Princeton University campus.
[NOTE: Media representatives who plan to cover the conference or need further information are asked to contact Ivette Mendez at, or call 973.518.1537.]
The seventh- and eighth-graders will listen to prominent speakers and get hands-on experience in varied workshops at the one-day program. Those include, among others, how science and math are applied to iPhone apps; and where biology and engineering meet to address endovascular procedures such as miniature instruments inserted into blood vessels. The students will also learn they can literally reach for the moon and beyond in a NASA workshop about careers.
“By the time the students leave at the end of the day, they will have no doubt that they can achieve their dreams,” said Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, president of HISPA, which has reached more than 2,000 students through its programs since its inception in September 2008 and was recently recognized by the Summit Board of Education. HISPA stands for Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement.
The event will be attended by schools that participated in the HISPA Role Model Program during the 2009/2010 school year. HISPA is a New Jersey-based national non-profit organization dedicated to contributing to America’s future by inspiring Latino students’ academic performance and achievement, and mobilizing Latino professionals to serve as active role models in educational programs.
The conference is co-sponsored by the Office of Human Resources at Princeton University, including the office’s Latino Princetonians employee resource group.
Corporate sponsors include AT&T and its Hispanic Employee Resource Group, HACEMOS; Merck; PSE&G Foundation; and Spanish Educational Resources. Contributors include Argent Associates; Novartis; PNC Bank; and Verizon. Additionally, PACTO, an organization of Latino professionals in Mercer County, has partnered with HISPA in this effort.
The morning guest speaker will be Dr. Alicia Abella, Executive Director of Innovative Services Research at AT&T Labs. She was recently named one of the Top Five 2010 Women of the Year by Hispanic Business Magazine.
Dr. Marta Tienda, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, will be the luncheon keynote speaker. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Tienda chaired the Panel on Hispanics for the National Academy of Science.
The schools attending this year’s conference who took part in previous HISPA programs are: New Brunswick Middle School; McGinnis and Shull Middle Schools in Perth Amboy; and Red Bank Middle School.
“Our second HISPA Youth Conference provides students the opportunity to interact with an amazing group of role models representing many cultural backgrounds and careers,” said Dr. Diaz-Claisse who holds a Ph.D. in mathematics. “This one-day program will help jump-start the young students on an early career exploration track and spur them to question themselves and the adults around them about their future. The opportunity to have the conference on the Princeton campus emphasizes our goal that higher education is the natural next step after high school.”
Since its launch, HISPA’S Role Model Bureau has provided support to educational programs across New Jersey reaching more than 2,000 students, providing them an opportunity to learn about career possibilities in a variety of fields, including academia, public policy, business, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Mentors have shared their life stories – with an emphasis on educational achievements and professional accomplishments – during visits in cities including New Brunswick, Paterson, West New York, Summit, Red Bank, Freehold, Passaic, Elizabeth, Union City and Perth Amboy.
One of HISPA’s key strategies is to support existing educational programs in which at least half of the students are Hispanic. It also partners with existing organizations that have mentoring programs.
For more information, contact and visit Media representatives may contact Ivette Mendez at, or call 973.518.1537.

For a summary of last year´s conference visit: HISPA 2009 Youth Conference