Posts Tagged ‘high school’

Putting STEM on the Latino map

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010


On April 1st, top thought leaders from the public, private and non profit sectors got together for the Latino Education conference organized by Latino Magazine in Washington DC. The conference featured great speakers and panelists who are experts and practitioners in the space.

The main theme of the conference was furthering the involvement of Latino students in the STEM fields. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.) You wonder why is this so important as to warrant a conference on the topic? Well, thirty years ago, the US was number one in graduating high school and college students. We were leading the world in science and math scores. Thirty years later we are near the bottom half of the developing world. Given that 25% of our country’s Kindergarten students are Latinos, and our community has a 50% dropout rate, the situation presents a huge challenge for the United States future.

These are some of the key learnings I’d like to share with you:

  • Eight out of the top ten jobs of the future are STEM field related
  • There are no lack of programs that are helping students succeed in high school and pursue a college education with emphasis in STEM
  • There is no shortage of talent in the Latino community but institutions, organizations and companies need to learn how to identify it better
  • Training teachers to teach STEM subjects is critical to the success of students
  • Taking an AP course and passing an AP exam increases a Latino student’s chances to graduate college from 15% to 65%
  • Passing Algebra by 8th grade is a great predictor of college success
  • It’s critical to scale up programs that work and to work with partners
  • We need to continue informing Latino parents and students of what’s available in terms of resources, opportunities, organizations, etc. so they can take advantage of all these.

    My question to you is the following: Are you doing anything that is related to this field that others need to know about, or are you aware of resources, initiatives, organizations that help students engage in this important field? Let me know!

    I’d like to continue to give visibility to those who are working in this field to help Latino students succeed.

    Women leading women

    Sunday, November 15th, 2009

    dsc06735I’ve just presented at a Latina Empowerment and Development conference organized by Latinas Unidas de Harvard, a group of unbelievable young female leaders helping each other become our leaders of the future.

    Many of the organizers and participants are the first in their families to attend college. When you add to that the fact that they are in Harvard, one of this country’s most prestigious universities, (and other top universities represented by many attendees such as: MIT, Wellesley College, Brandeis University) you can imagine the impact this has on their families and in our community at large,

    I interviewed several of the students and here are a few tips they shared with me.

    1. Although students admitted at Harvard have a strong academic profile, that is not the key element that admissions officers take into consideration. They look at the individual and in their quest for a diverse campus that offers a rich experience to their students, they admit students with unique and interesting life experiences.

    2. Many students, both US citizens/residents and foreign students have taken advantage of Harvard’s Middle Income initiative and are getting a full free ride! You’ll hear them talk in upcoming clips we’ll post. Which means, these students are getting a 200,000 education for FREE. Leaving college with NO DEBT. How many of you, are either making the decision to attend or already attending a community college or state university because it’s less expensive than a private school?

    I met several students who work at the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program and the Admissions office and they are willing to help any of you who is interested in finding out more about how to apply to Harvard, to give you feedback on your essays or anything you may need to consider attending a top school.

    I hope you take advantage of their generosity and post comments here and through so we can connect you with them. It doesn’t matter if others say you are not cut for a Tier 1 school. It’s up to you to create a remarkable future for yourself.

    Interships available

    Sunday, July 5th, 2009


    Are you a high school senior or college student looking for an internship? Get involved with the Latinos in College initiative!

    I have recently helped launch this nationwide public awareness campaign to help increase the number of Latinos/Hispanics who graduate from college. Yes, it’s not just about getting into a university but graduating with a four year degree. And although right now there are opportunities out there for people with great technical skills and lots of experience, keep in mind that the unemployment rate for people without a college degree is three times higher than for people with a college degree.

    So, here’s a great opportunity: Latinos in College is looking for interns to help us with Internet marketing. What does it mean? That you’ll be using Internet tools to make other students aware of our initiative and website. You’ll be using Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and all the other Social Networking sites to drive traffic to our site.

    We are looking for a team of committed students. Here’s how you’ll benefit:

  • You’ll be in touch with experts in various industries who can open doors for you now and in the future
  • You’ll gain experience in a critical field that will give you an edge when you look for a job
  • You’ll have a wonderful internship experience to add to your resume
  • You’ll be in touch with other students with a Latino background who can support you in your own path to college

    We are looking for people who:

  • Are high school seniors, college students and recent college grads
  • Are very well versed in Social Networking tools and on how the Internet works
  • Are motivated, self directed and enthusiastic about education
  • Are interested in developing their leadership skills
  • Are interested in helping other Hispanic students

    Although this is an unpaid internship, you may be able to get college credits for it. Check with your school.

    If you are interested in becoming a part of this exciting initiative, contact us today at:

  • RMHC/HACER workshops start again

    Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

    I’m off to Los Angeles tomorrow morning to begin the second consecutive year of workshops for the RMHC/HACER scholarships. The first one is in Firebaugh High School in Lynwood, CA.

    McDonald’s in cooperation with Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers five workshops called “Steps for Success” in five cities. They take place on a Saturday and they are open to middle school and high school students and their parents. The goal is to help everyone understand the college admissions process plus, how to apply for financial aid and scholarships. They are taught in Spanish and English and they are a great way for you to spend a Saturday with your children.

    I present a workshop in Spanish and one in English for the parents focusing on what they can do while their kids are in high school to help them make it to college. At the end of the day, I sign copies of my book “Help your children succeed in high school and go to college” which we give away to participants.

    The RMHC/HACER program now offers four national scholarships of $100,000 each. The application period starts in November and I will be sharing some secrets on how to increase your child’s chances to get one in future blogs.

    For more information, visit and register for the workshop. On this website you will also find informational videos and a column that I write for students.


    Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

    They are the energetic, professional leaders of the future and they are here now! The high school students members of ASPIRA, called Aspirantes, develop a strong bond amongst themselves that last a life time. I met several the other day at the Aspira of New York Annual Circle of Latino Achievers luncheon.

    Whether they are still in high school or they were Aspirantes 20 years ago, everyone expressed great passion for the people they had met through this organization. And just like when you are a member of any meaningful group, they help each other along the way.

    Joining organizations like ASPIRA ( that help them develop leadership skills while still in high school is a wonderful way for teenagers to open doors. Above and beyond all the mentorship and guidance they received during their years as Aspirantes, all of the students attending the luncheon got scholarships for college.