Inspires Manhattan Bridges High School Students to Graduate

HISPA at Manhattan Bridges

After being recruited to the HISPA Role Model Program, I gave a presentation at Manhattan Bridges High School to students who are interested in the field of software engineering.

The HISPA Role Model Program enables Hispanic professionals to step into classrooms as positive examples for our youth. During each visit, two HISPA Role Models share their cultural, educational, and professional experiences that allowed them to achieve their dreams—and show students that they can do the same. Visits are tailored to school and student need, ranging from small group discussions to large auditorium presentations, but all emphasize the importance of higher education and introduce potential future careers.

Research indicates that intervention is necessary at an early age. According to the Juvenile Assessment Center, the dropout process begins early: many students have “mentally dropped out of school much earlier than when they finally stop going to class.” Students tend to exhibit warning signs one to three years before dropping out, and most drop out early in high school.

Research also shows strong correlation between having a role model and pursuing education. By uniting middle-schoolers with successful, relatable role models, HISPA eradicates one reason why Latinos do not pursue higher education: a lack of role models.

I was recruited to join the HISPA Role Model Program by Rod Colon, the podcast host of “Own your Career.”

Soon after the “CEO of Me, Inc.” paradigm turned the business world on its head in 1997, Rod Colon left a prominent position on Wall Street to become its most outspoken advocate. Today, as a motivational speaker and career strategist, Rod travel worldwide speaking with professional groups, colleges, and corporate leaders to deliver his unique call-to-action: Own Your Career!

What Does ‘Own Your Career’ Mean?
To remain competitive in the 21st century, professionals need to run their careers in the same way a CEO runs a business … with full accountability, mental discipline, a distinctive brand, and a relentless gathering of business intelligence. Own Your Career is more than a mantra; it is both a methodology and an all-inclusive platform designed so that everyone ? regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or age ? can have career success.

To learn more about Rod Colon’s listen to his podcast entitled “Own your Career.” It’s a call in show that is broadcast every Monday at 9PM.

About HISPA

Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) is a non-profit 501(C)(3) organization dedicated to proactively encouraging students’ success by providing them with a unique Role Model Program through strategic alliances with educational partners and professionals from the public and private sectors.

HISPA is a New Jersey-based non-profit organization also active in Miami, New York City, and San Antonio. HISPA was formed to engage the volunteerism of Hispanic professionals and eradicate one key reason why Hispanic students do not pursue higher education: a lack of role models.

HISPA has mobilized 2,500 volunteers, reached more than 7,000 students, and worked with about 100 organizations. Whether an individual, school, or corporation, there are many ways to join our movement!

HISPA was established in 1984 as the Hispanic Association of AT&T Employees, the company’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group (ERG), which provided outreach programs for Hispanics throughout the United States. The organization was incorporated in 1986 and became a 501(c)3 in 1993. Organizational bylaws were modified in 2005, making both the “HISPA” name official and allowing non-AT&T members to fully participate in the organization’s outreach efforts. In 2006, the AT&T-Southern Bell merger united these companies’ respective Hispanic ERGs as AT&T HACEMOS, an organization under which membership was once again made exclusive to AT&T employees. HISPA leadership decided to keep the 501(c)3 organization intact to continue its community involvement and in 2007 unanimously voted to become the independent non-profit it is today.

Our Role Models share their success stories in predominantly low-income, public middle schools in which Hispanics are the majority.

The HISPA Role Model Program enables Hispanic professionals to step into classrooms as positive examples for our youth. During each visit, two HISPA Role Models share their cultural, educational, and professional experiences that allowed them to achieve their dreams—and show students that they can do the same. Visits are tailored to school and student need, ranging from small group discussions to large auditorium presentations, but all emphasize the importance of higher education and introduce potential future careers.

Research indicates that intervention is necessary at an early age. According to the Juvenile Assessment Center, the dropout process begins early: many students have “mentally dropped out of school much earlier than when they finally stop going to class.” Students tend to exhibit warning signs one to three years before dropping out, and most drop out early in high school.

Research also shows strong correlation between having a role model and pursuing education. By uniting middle-schoolers with successful, relatable role models, HISPA eradicates one reason why Latinos do not pursue higher education: a lack of role models.

Not all children have to ask themselves the question, “Can I really be a teacher, doctor, astronaut, or politician?”

Unfortunately, many Hispanic youth have never seen role models that look like them in such professions. For this reason, it is important to provide such role models to students.

HISPA’s Mission

To mobilize Hispanic professionals as active role models in local educational programs. Vision: To contribute to America’s future by inspiring students’ academic performance and achievement. HISPA mobilizes Hispanic professionals to eradicate one key reason why youth don’t pursue education: a lack of role models. Unless students believe they can achieve, they risk of dropping out—and indeed, Hispanic dropout is the highest of all racial/ethnic groups. This has social and economic consequences as jobs demand more education and Hispanics make up more of the workforce. Research shows that early intervention is key to reducing dropout. It also shows strong correlation between having a role model and pursuing education. HISPA programs intervene during this critical period to emphasize the importance of academics, introduce careers, and demonstrate that all students can achieve their dreams. The HISPA Role Model Program puts Hispanic professionals in Hispanic-majority school classrooms to emphasize the importance of higher education and introduce potential future careers. HISPA Youth Conferences bring 150 students to a university campus for hands-on workshops alongside positive role models to introduce college life and encourage STEM studies and careers. HISPA Corporate Visits to company headquarters allow students to explore career options immersed in a professional setting. Students tour labs and work with cutting-edge technologies and hear from company leaders.

About Manhattan Bridges High School

Manhattan Bridges High School is a public high school in New York. The principal of is MS. MIRZA SANCHEZ-MEDINA. 57% of the Manhattan Bridges High School students have “limited English proficiency.” 532 students go to Manhattan Bridges High School, and the student to teacher ratio is 15:1. Food and Finance High School is one of the nearest high schools.

  • District: New York City
  • Public Schools
  • Enrollment: 512 (2016)
  • Grades taught: 9-12School type: Public

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About Anthony

Anthony Alvarez is a native new yorker who graduated Hunter College High School, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from City College of New York (CCNY). He was a foreign exchange scholar studying Chinese language and Culure at Guangzhou’s Sun Yat Sen Univesity. He has worked overseas as a software engineer in Tokyo for a Japanese company for three years where he built his first website and back-end server script.

Want to learn about Anthony’s ideas to turn your website into a lead generation system that can find, qualify and develop new leads for your sales team to convert? Setup an appointment to talk with him about your current situation and were you want to go with with your website business.

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