A group of local leaders and community organizations formed a community wide coalition to inspire the minority pipeline to pursue their dreams and opportunities in today’s tech-driven economy.
Central Florida’s community leaders joined forces to launch the inaugural Hispanic Youth Leadership in Education Summit May 9th, 2015, SeaWorld Orlando.
The Summit convened tech-entrepreneurs, government, school administrators, as well as the private and public sector to discuss the economic value of innovation in a digital global economy.
“We created Aspire to Inspire, an ALPFA Cares’ new program, because we saw the need to create mentorship opportunities for central Florida’s growing Hispanic youth.” Said Margie Viera, Co-Founder of Aspire to Inspire.
The summit received overwhelming support from champions in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole County Public Schools, including State Representative Rene “Coach P” Plasencia, Commissioner Arturo Otero, and Commissioner Wanda Rentas.
We salute Dr. Jesus Jara, Dr. Walter Griffin, and Mrs. Melba Luciano for their powerful remarks and unwavering commitment to prepare Florida’s youth for economic success.
Real life stories captivated the attention of the young vibrant audience. It was abundantly clear that these leaders mean business and will do all they can to ensure that Florida students are equipped to become the next wave of innovators and entrepreneurs.
The summit concluded with a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) presentation. Ana Roca-Castro, founder of Latinos in Technology Innovation and Social Media (#LATISM), highlighted how STEM fields will be the fastest-growing occupation over the next decade. Roca-Castro was laser focused on youth engagement as it plays a critical role in our 21st century global workforce.
An interactive hands-on activity was the sweet spot and an ingenious way to end the summit. It provided a unique opportunity for deeper thinking about solutions to real life problems. Students formed teams, identified problems, and brainstormed on solutions. The interactive exercise got students energized and eager to present their innovative idea to the audience for a vote.
As the Hispanic population continues to grow, now more than ever, it is of paramount importance that we continue to advance and improve the opportunities and outcomes for Hispanic youth. The convening was a move in the right direction. Engagement from parents, students, educators, community and business leaders was also very encouraging.
There is no question that joining forces toward a common goal can positively impact communities in unimaginable ways. Therefore, let’s keep moving forward and expand opportunities for our youth to flourish.
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