Scores of Hispanic professionals will enlist in a role model program in New York City on Sept. 12 that will put them in middle school classrooms to inspire students to excel and go on to higher education.
Hispanics Inspiring Students' Performance and Achievement (HISPA) is launching its New York City program during Hispanic Heritage Month, with a kickoff theme of "More Stories: A Greater Contribution to America's Future."
The Ogilvy & Mather agency in New York will host the sixth annual kickoff and recruiting event.
"We are excited to extend our program to New York City," Dr. Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, president of HISPA, said in a news release. She said HISPA's goal is to recruit 250 role models to help "build the program over the coming years. This is an excellent opportunity for Latino professionals to come together and contribute to the academic success and careers of our youth."
HISPA has hosted a series of talks in New York City at various corporations -- including AT&T, The College Board, ESPN, IPG, JPMorgan, O&M, Verizon and VIACOM -- to address the urgent need for more Hispanic professional role models for youth in New York, where 40 percent of public schools students are Hispanic.
Joseph Baide, practice lead at Ogilvy ROJO and executive group director, O&M North America, will be the keynote speaker. A Honduran-American, he will share his life and professional story and try to instill in others the vital importance of role models for our youth.
"HISPA's mission of mobilizing Latino role models is particularly close to my heart and I am honored to be involved," Baide said. "I am excited to participate at the HISPA initiative and share my personal experience as a first-generation Honduran-American."
In addition, Carlos Ojeda Jr., CEO of CoolSpeak, will train volunteers and give an inspirational presentation titled "Know Your Role, Model the Change." Mr. Ojeda has addressed tens of thousands of students and young professionals across the country.
Baide and Ojeda were chosen to speak because their educational journey and professional careers are outstanding examples of overcoming challenges and achieving success. Their participation will help new role model recruits forge the future of new generations.
O&M's Hispanic Employee Resource Group, LatinRed, is co-hosting the event. Many of its members are already enlisted as HISPA Role Models in the tri-state area as the program gets under way.
"We are honored to partner with Ogilvy LatinRed to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and to launch HISPA New York City," Diaz-Claisse said. "Together we are inviting private and public sector professionals to become HISPA Role Models to make sure our Latino youth can witness firsthand and be motivated by success stories."
HISPA, a national nonprofit organization, mobilizes Hispanic professionals to serve as role models in classrooms close to where they live and work. The role models share their stories with emphasis in overcoming obstacles, setting goals and showcasing their educational and professional achievements.
Most of the role models to date are in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
More than 800 professional leaders have become volunteers through HISPA's year-round Role Model Program since its inception in 2008.
In 2012-2013, approximately 150 volunteers shared their stories with 1,000 students during recurring visits to 16 schools and during the HISPA 2013 Youth Conference at the University of Texas in San Antonio in March and Princeton University in June, according to the release.
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SOURCE Ogilvy & Mather
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