New York City, NY - National nonprofit organization HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students' Performance and Achievement) is launching their role model-based programming in Miami—as well as their newest initiative, VISION 2020: an effort to recruit Hispanic role models to share 20,000 inspirational stories with students. The launch and campaign will begin with the HISPA Miami Role Model Program Kick-Off and Recruiting Event, hosted by the City of Miami, Office of the Mayor, on September 30 at 5:30 pm. The evening will bring together Latino professionals from public and private sectors dedicated to inspiring our youth, including leaders from the Office of the Mayor, the Southern District of Florida Department of Justice, ESPN, UPS and Visa, among others.
The event, themed “Honoring Our Stories, Building America’s Future,” will be emceed by ESPN Deportes television host, anchor and columnist Sebastián Martínez Christensen. Speakers include the Mayor of the City of Miami Tomás Regalado and keynote speaker Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Guests will also learn about the organization’s history, mission, and ways to get involved as role models for Latino youth from HISPA leaders.
HISPA was established in New Jersey in 2008 with the mission to mobilize Latino professionals to serve as role models in schools where they live and work and share their personal and professional journeys, highlight their accomplishments to encourage students to dream big and achieve their goals through education. The organization began with the recruitment effort, “100 Role Models in 100 Hours”. Since then, HISPA has steadily grown, recruiting over 2,000 volunteers to reach over 7,000 students as they grew across New Jersey and into New York City, San Antonio—and now, Florida. Their efforts were most recently acknowledged by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, which named HISPA a “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education.
Having come so far, HISPA has set its sights even higher with VISION 2020, which aims to mobilize thousands of Latino professional to share 20,000 inspirational stories with local youth by year 2020. Volunteers will serve as role models in HISPA’s educational programs, visiting students in their classrooms, welcoming students to tour workplaces during corporate visits, and uniting on university campuses for youth conferences, all of which emphasize the importance of continuing education.
“We are excited to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with our dedicated supporters and partners who have made it possible for HISPA to expand into South Florida,” said Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, HISPA President and CEO. “Eradicating the lack of role models as an obstacle in the Latino educational pipeline is key for the future of America. And everywhere we go, there are inspirational stories that need to be shared with our students.”
“It is with great anticipation that we are preparing to launch HISPA,” said Mayor Regalado in a letter to Dr. Díaz-Claisse. “The City of Miami - Office of the Mayor, along with Mrs. Ana Cristina Regalado, is fully committed to the success of this program.”
During the event, HISPA will formally welcome Visa as an Annual Partner and celebrate the support ESPN has provided the organization in New York and Miami. HISPA’s Kick-Off event sponsors also include First Bank and UPS.
These companies will allow HISPA to provide role models for students in Kinloch Park Middle School and Miami Senior High School, both in Miami, FL.
In addition, with the support of many volunteers from Office Depot and Microsoft, HISPA will also have a program at L. C. Swain Middle School No. 21 in Greenacres, FL.
HISPA’s Annual Partners are AT&T, Comcast, ESPN, ETS, Verizon, and Southwest Airlines, HISPA’s official airline partner.