FREEHOLD, New Jersey, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — HISPA, a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing professional Hispanic role models for young students, reached its initial recruitment goal of 100 role models in New Jersey resulting in an overall commitment of more than 350 school and other educational program visits within the next year.
Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, president of HISPA, announced the milestone on Wednesday. HISPA, which stands for Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement, held its national launch event on Sept. 16 to coincide with the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We are very pleased at the continuing outpouring of support from New Jersey’s Hispanic professionals and organizations who believe in HISPA’s mission to step into the classrooms and make a difference,” said Dr. Diaz-Claisse. “As our nation celebrated past and current positive accomplishments during Hispanic Heritage Month, HISPA’s new mentors committed to creating a better tomorrow for our young students.”
HISPA’s Role Model Bureau is a national network of role models and resources that will showcase the participants’ educational experiences, careers, and ethnic backgrounds. HISPA encourages Hispanic professionals to become active role models by visiting schools and sharing their educational and career experiences with students in an effort to inspire academic performance and achievement.
HISPA is also teaming up with existing organizations that have mentoring programs. In New Jersey, HISPA is working with Hudson County-based Save Latin America’s “Reaching Our Dreams” program, which is run by Johnny Torres.
At the New Jersey launch event, participants included Luis J. Diaz, director and Chief Diversity Officer for Gibbons P.C., and president/CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Advocacy Association (USHAA). He moderated a panel that included: Cid Wilson, former National President of the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR), and Board Director of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR); Alicia Abella, Ph.D., AT&T Labs Executive Director, Technical Research; and Brigitte Gonzalez, president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA).
The following is a partial list of organizations that have pledged to provide role models, as well as individuals who have joined HISPA’s efforts: Employee Resources Groups: AT&T – HACEMOS; MERCK – Merck Hispanic Organization (MHO); PSE&G – ADELANTE; CHUBB Hispanic and Latino Employee Network (CHLEN); Microsoft – HOLA; Professional Organizations: NSHMBA – NJ Chapter; LISTA – NJ and NY Chapters; USHAA; DANR; and Government: Perth Amboy (NJ) Mayor Wilda Diaz.
Dr. Diaz-Claisse’s professional background includes 10 years with AT&T Labs. The New Jersey resident holds a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico, a Masters in engineering from Cornell University, a Masters in mathematics from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Arizona State University.
HISPA’s goals are:
— To reduce the drop-out rates by targeting middle school students and emphasizing the importance of higher education in each role model presentation.
— To further develop strategic alliances with employee resource groups, professional organizations and alumni networks in order to select, recruit and support a pool of role models.
— To become a one-stop resource that provides access to thousands of professional Hispanic role models willing to share their motivational stories on an ongoing basis to schools and community-based educational programs.
— To support and expand existing community-based educational programs with similar goals that have an existing need for a Hispanic pool of role models.
For more information, contact email@example.com and visit http://www.hispa.org . Photos are available on the website.