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The Latino Connection is going to challenge everyone reading this article to do one thing today. EDUCATE yourself about the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF). WHY? HHF could directly benefit a Latino youth that you know. Much like the American Cancer Society educates the public on cancer, HHF helps educate and mentor Latino youth from elementary school to career professionals. HHF is a national nonprofit which inspires, prepares, positions and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. Through HHF’s Code as a Second Language Initiative, thousands of Latino students across the nation, K-12, are introduced and taught to code. Participating students are then funneled into and tracked by HHF’s award-winning LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) workforce development program for further development, connectivity and placement into the workforce.
Each year HHF provides grants in seven (7) different categories: Business & Entrepreneurship, Community Service, Education, Engineering & Mathematics, Healthcare, Innovation & Technology, and Sports & Fitness. Three awards for each student category and one Innovative Educator Award are given in each of the ten regions across the country. Locally, our closest regions are in New York and Washington D.C. respectively. One Regional Award winning student from each category and one Innovative Educator will be selected as the National Youth Award recipient in his or her respective category.
The Latino Connection concentrated its attention on the Innovation & Technology Track, a Track which in particular focuses on three platforms: 1) Technical training to get Latinos into Technology; Instruction of Computer Programing; Code as a Second Language; and works in over 15 different markets/schools 2) Providing Conferences and Summits geared for both professionals and students who are majoring in computer sciences 3) Working with companies to assist talent in obtaining jobs within their field through a program called LOFT Source.
An average of 70% of the students who have taken the workshops want to continue with computer programming, and while our goal is not to make everyone an engineer, we want to expose them to it and give them access to the technology,” states Alberto Avalos, Innovation & Technology Program Manager. “Nine out of 10 schools don’t teach it or provide it as an option, so what we tell [students] is that just understanding computer science elevates your profile 100 times”, adds Avalos.
Our goal in this magazine is to educate the public on the resources available to the Latino community. We proudly featured HHF because we believe in its mission and goals. HHF is there to help our Latino youth today. At the start of this article we challenged you to educate yourself on HHF, now we challenge you to think of several young people in your life you think would benefit from knowing about HHF. Tell them, either by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, text, email, however you must to start the conversation that HHF exists and can be a source of assistance towards their goals.
To apply for grants or simply to learn more about Hispanic Heritage Foundation, friends, educators, parents, and students can visit www.hispanicheritage.org.