With San Antonio’s Fiesta as a backdrop and leadership, education, career-development as the focus, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) in partnership with Our Community Inc., LLC (OCI Group), SHPE Foundation, U.S. Army, CVS Caremark Workforce Initiatives, University of Phoenix, and Southwest Airlines hosted a Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) Symposium at the University of Texas at San Antonio featuring Texas State Representative Joaquin Castro (Dist. 125) as the featured speaker in front of more than 100 as high school and college students.
The event was free and featured:
- A networking lunch with food and refreshments
- A dynamic and exclusive leadership training led by the U.S. Army (The leadership training is designed to help student-leaders define their role within their organizations, and encourage them to seek out leadership roles in schools and communities)
- An insightful panel of STEM professionals showcasing their personal stories, career paths, and the resources and opportunities available for Latinos to enter the STEM fields
- An opportunity to network with professionals and other emerging Latino leaders interested in STEM
- Sponsor giveaways/raffle (attendees will enter a raffle to win a free round-trip Southwest Airline ticket anywhere in the USA along with other sponsor giveaways)
“With America struggling to fill more than 3 million job openings in the STEM-related fields, we feel strongly investing in high-achieving Latino youth is a solution,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “With more than 10,000 baby-boomers reaching retirement age every day for the next 19 years in the STEM fields, our LOFT program and sponsors understand the urgency of identifying, inspiring, preparing and positioning our workforce. There is no better place to focus than the youngest and fastest-growing segment of the population. We are proud to partner with Analco, Luis and OCI Group and other sponsors to inspire, train and position more leaders in the STEM, education, business, nonprofit management and other fields to move the Latino community and America forward. We look forward to partnering with OCI Group in other regions to expand our reach and curriculum.”
OCI Group was happy to contribute and is credited for making this the largest LOFT event in the country thus far. They were also happy to see the vision and leadership of Brooks Academy of Science and Engineering highlighted as they had the largest turnout of student participants and school administration present. LOFT will provide more than 30 LOFT trainings, symposia, summits and charlas in various fields in 2012 including a one-day summit with the White House and US Congress.
The seven-city series of STEM Leadership Symposia has and will include:
- Miami, FL March 22nd University of Miami
- Chicago, IL April 5th University of Illinois at Chicago
- San Antonio, TX April 19th University of Texas at San Antonio
- Santa Clara, CA May 3rd Santa Clara University
- New York, NY October 24th TBD at St. John’s University
- Houston, TX November 13th TBD at University of Houston
- Los Angeles, CA December 4th TBD at Claremont McKenna College
LOFT is a leadership and workforce development program which connects emerging Latinos to each other, to experts, to resources, to platforms, and career paths in STEM fields, business and finance, education, innovation, and other fields. Join the 75,000 Latino students and young professionals at LOFT Network at http://loftnetwork.org and follow LOFT on Twitter @LOFTInstitute.
Established in 1987 by the White House, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) is a 501c3, nonprofit which inspires, identifies, prepares and positions Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also provides Latinos in America with role models, cultural pride and a promising future through public awareness campaigns and special events. What distinguishes HHF from other organizations is a focus on helping “a Latino to help hundreds.” Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org and follow HHF on Twitter.