below, from release.....
Hispanic Scholarship Fund Launches 'Generation 1st Degree' to
Increase Number of Americans with College Degrees
Campaign Begins as HSF Announces its First Class of Obama Scholars--
Funded by the President's Nobel Peace Prize
NEW YORK CITY--HSF, recognizing the nation's need for more college graduates in spite of the current recession, is launching "Generation 1st Degree," an initiative focused on closing the "degree gap" that exists between Hispanic students and their peers. The strategy seeks to help at least one person in each household earn a college degree, and then leverage that credential in order to assist others in the family seek the same achievement.
Announcing the initiative at its first Education Summit, HSF plans to focus its efforts on the Hispanic American students and families it serves and hopes to be a catalyst for a national conversation about higher education and the economy. In 35 years, HSF has awarded close to $300 million in scholarships to more than 50,000 students in need. Two-thirds of these students were the first in their families to go to college.
"We have proof to show the game-changing impacts of a 'first-in-family' degree," says Frank Alvarez, president and CEO, HSF. "With 'Generation 1st Degree,' we're asking all college-educated Americans who benefited from someone's investment in them to give back by investing in Hispanics who aspire to be the first in their families to earn a college degree. Our investments will not only benefit these students and their families, but they will be the seeds of change that inspire siblings, friends and an entire generation of Hispanics to go to college."
HSF's vision is for the U.S. Latino degree attainment rate to increase from 19 percent to 60 percent by 2025. HSF estimates that will result in a significant increase in Latino lifetime earnings--from the current $24 trillion to $47 trillion (in current dollars) by 2025 if the goal is met.
Time Warner is the host sponsor of the Education Summit as well as the corporate honoree. Toyota is the presenting sponsor of the Education Summit.
"As a global leader in the automotive industry, Toyota believes that education is vital to sustaining a diverse and dynamic workforce, strengthening communities, and opening doors for all people," says Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "We are deeply grateful to HSF for the work it does and for giving us the opportunity to play a key role in this special day. We're especially proud of the more than 500 HSF scholars we've been able to support through our longtime HSF scholarship program."
In addition to scholarships, Toyota's partnership with HSF includes program support that totals $4.25 million since 1988.
At the Education Summit, participants are discussing how closing the degree gap is becoming more important as the demand for college-educated Americans continues to rise. A recent study by Anthony Carnevale of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce estimates that if current trends continue the U.S. will lack 3 million college degree holders that companies must have to fulfill jobs by 2018. Carnevale predicts unless the U.S. increases it degree-production capabilities, those jobs will be lost and go off-shore.
The Education Summit also includes the naming of the first class of Obama Scholars, students who will have part of their education paid for from the $125,000 gift President Barack Obama made to HSF upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. HSF selected the Obama Scholars based on essays they wrote describing their interest in teaching in a science-related field.
The Obama Scholars include:
•Matthew Castro, a junior studying biology at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Tex., who is an Iraq War veteran;
•Janine Flores, a biology student at St. John's University in New York City, who believes "education is the key to advancement as I've lived it myself"; and
•Richard Ossa, a junior at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, N.J., who says, "I want to be a successful chemical engineer and I want to leave my footprint as a good teacher along the way."
The Summit is being followed by the Alumni Hall of Fame Gala 2010 that recognizes the achievements of outstanding HSF alumni whose incredible stories demonstrate the power of higher education. This year's inductees are:
•Roger Cepeda, J.D., associate general counsel, CT, GE Healthcare, Milwaukee, is a motivator who often speaks with young people about setting priorities and talks about his own humble beginnings. He now provides strategic legal advice to a $1 billion business;
•Edgar Martinez, M.D., medical director, Huntington Park, Calif., gives back to his community in many ways including his mentoring to Latino medical students. He is the first in his family to earn a college degree and is ensuring he is not the last;
•Lisa Pino, J.D., deputy administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C., is the first Hispanic to serve in this role. She was able to complete her legal studies with HSF support;
•Yesmi Rios, M.A., English language learner coordinator, Clark County School District, Nev., oversees more than 100 K-12 schools and works to ensure more than 68,000 non-fluent English speakers are provided appropriate educational services to ensure academic success; and
•Cesar Conde, M.B.A., president, Univision Networks, is recognized as an honorary inductee. Conde has served in the public sector and now oversees three television networks--Univision, TeleFutura and Galavisión--as well as several corporate functions. Conde is active in the development of educational opportunities for young Hispanics. He is the chairman and co-founder of the Futuro Program, a non-profit organization that provides role models and educational workshops to Hispanic high school students.
"What we are witnessing is the circle of life--'Gen 1st Degree' is about the dreams we need to spark in everyone's imaginations, the Obama Scholars represent the dream to come, and the alumni represent the dream fulfilled," says Raul Romero, chairman, HSF. "The end result will be an America made stronger economically and socially through higher education, which is something we all care about."
HSF's mission is to strengthen America by advancing the college education of Hispanic Americans. The organization delivers a range of programs to Hispanic families and students through community outreach and education, affordability via scholarships, college retention and career opportunities. HSF supports a successful path for Latinos to attain a college degree--creating an increasingly valuable asset for a stronger, more competitive America in the 21st century.www.HSF.net.