Planting seeds of success for the next generation of Latina/o scientists

HISPA 2014 idcHispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA) hosted their “Kick-Off and Recruiting Event” in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month – their purpose, to engage new “Role Model” volunteers in HISPA’s Role Model Program. Role models, who visit classrooms and educational programs, dedicate their stories to show students that they too can achieve all their dreams.
“We must join forces and share our educational and professional journeys with our students,” said Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, Founder and President of HISPA. “We invite you to be the wind that pushes the next generation forward. Let’s commit to be active role models to our youth.”

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Dr. Silvia L. Mazzula, Director of the Latina Researchers Network, was among the panel of leaders who shared inspirational stories of success and discussed the importance of volunteerism in supporting the next generation of investigators. “Sharing our journey with students is planting a seed of opportunity that otherwise may not be available” said Mazzula.


The panel also included René Herrera, National President of Verizon Hispanic Support Organization (HSO), Antuan Santana, Operations and Community Manager at MHISPA 2014 Panelicrosoft New York Metro and Rod Colón, as the panel moderator, a career coach, author and radio host. The event took place at the Microsoft headquarters in Times Square, New York City.

En castellano: Para leer sobre este programa en castellano:


Earlier this year, with the support of the Latina Researchers Network and others including ESPN, HISPA held its first New York City annual HISPA Conference titled “Take Action, Achieve Your Dreams”. Over 150 8th grade students received a standing ovation from nearly 300 diverse researchWWW.DAVID8A.COM-156-2ers and scholars with advanced STEM or social science degrees, as they paraded at the culmination of one of the featured plenary sessions of the 2nd Latina Researchers Conference.

“Our youth can’t be something they can not see. It’s also challenging to aspire when who they see does not look like them” said Mazzula. The Latina Researchers Network was founded to support under-represented researchers in higher education and in advanced research careers. “HISPA’s commitment to ensure Latina/o youth enter the STEM and PhD pipeline makes our work possible” said Mazzula.

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HISPA Kick-Off Event photos by Robert Figueroa Photography | Latina Researchers Conference photos by David8a Photography

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About us: The Latina Researchers Network was founded to ensure the successful achievement of Latina researchers and under-represented scholars. The Network is committed to bringing awareness to the challenges and opportunities faced by under-represented investigators, to showcasing excellence in scholarship, and to building a supportive community of diverse scholars and allies to increase the research pipeline. Stay connected! Get latest news and updates via our List-serve, Tweet Chats, Facebook Page and LinkedIn Group. For more information, visit

About HISPA: HISPA is a New Jersey-based national non-profit organization dedicated to contributing to America’s future by inspiring Latino students’ academic performance and mobilizing Latino professionals to serve as role models in educational programs. Many of the professionals who have joined this initiative are in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. To date, more than 1,500 Latino professionals have become volunteers supporting educational programs in New Jersey, New York City and San Antonio. For more information about HISPA visit:

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