HISPA aimed to inspire, educate Hispanic students at recent event at Montclair State

HISPA, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering Latino youth through education, recently hosted its first Youth Conference at Montclair State University — an event aimed at inspiring and educating 160 Latino middle school students from Passaic Public Schools.

The event, co-hosted by Montclair State’s Office for Hispanic Initiatives and Prudential Financial, was themed, “Take Action! Achieve your Dreams.” It hoped to share the opportunities available through higher education to the students.

HISPA’s Youth Conferences are designed to provide Latino youth with firsthand exposure to college life and career paths alongside Latino role models — local professionals from high-skill careers.

Activities at this event included a college student panel on life after high school and interactive STEM career exploration workshops from providers Prudential (financial planning), Citi (career readiness), Merck (chemistry experiments) and Verizon (mathematics and graph theory). By offering these experiences on a college campus, HISPA ignites a passion for education and empowers young Latinos to pursue academic and professional success.

Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, founder and CEO of HISPA, felt the event was a success.

“We are excited to have partnered with Montclair State University and Prudential to host this transformative event for Passaic middle school students,” she said. “Our Youth Conferences are many students’ first experience with higher education and play a crucial role in inspiring them to envision their futures and realize the endless possibilities available to them through education.”

The event was made possible by lead sponsor Citi, with additional funding provided by Merck and Verizon.

“We are deeply grateful to Citi for their steadfast support of our organization and commitment to empowering Latino youth,” Diaz-Claisse said. “Their partnership enables us to make a lasting impact on the lives of young people in Passaic.”

HISPA’s educational programs are made possible by founding partners Verizon and Visa, co-founding partners and supporters Merck, Bloomberg, Victoria’s Secret & Co. and the PSEG Foundation, and annual partners Prudential, ETS and Bristol Myers Squibb.