New appointments at the Hispanic Scholarship Fund signal a stepped-up effort to bolster Hispanic college graduation rates. More than one-fifth of U.S. public school children are Hispanic, according to the HSF, a number that is expected to increase to one-third by the middle of the century.
Frank Alvarez, HSF president and CEO, named Fernando Almodóvar as chief financial officer; Juana Inés Pacheco as development director, Northeast Region; and Rafaela Schwan as development director, Central Region. All of them will report to Alvarez.
"With our initiative Generation 1st Degree, HSF is working hard to ensure that every Hispanic household in America produces at least one college graduate," says Alvarez. "We are recruiting talented folks who can help us achieve our mission so that our kids will be the leaders of a college-educated, technologically advanced American workforce, able to compete successfully in the global economy of the 21st century."
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Almodóvar is building a finance and accounting team in Los Angeles as HSF prepares to move its headquarters to Southern California this fall. He holds degrees from California State University-Fullerton and Loyola Marymount, and was most recently a senior executive at LA UP, a Southern California network of preschools for the underserved.
Pacheco has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and will be based in New Jersey, spearheading HSF development efforts from the mid-Atlantic states throughout the northeast. A graduate of Princeton University, Pachecho most recently served in fundraising capacities for LATINA Style Magazine and Voto Latino.
Schwan, a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, will be based in Texas, where he will oversee HSF development efforts in the region. Schwan most recently was assistant vice president for programs at Catholic Charities Diocese of Ft. Worth, Texas.
The HSF's board of directors approved audited financial statements for fiscal year 2012 during the August meeting. According to the HSF, 93 cents of every dollar it raises goes to scholarships, education, college retention and leadership development services.
Hispanic Education a U.S. Priority
Hispanics are the fastest growing population in the U.S., yet only 19 percent of them hold a college degree. The rate for the U.S. population as a whole is 40 percent.
Anthony Carnevale, at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, estimates that by 2018, nearly two-thirds of all new jobs will require a college education. He also estimates that if current trends continue, 3 million American jobs will go unfilled or go offshore because there won't be enough U.S. college graduates to fill them.
The HSF hopes to help close that gap through Generation 1st Degree, an initiative to help put at least one college degree in every Hispanic household.
To date, HSF has awarded over $360 million in scholarships and has supported a broad range of outreach and education programs to help students and their families navigate collegiate life, from gaining admission and securing financial aid to finding employment after graduation.
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