National Hispanic Coalition Launches STEM Initiative

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Mobilizing the nation's human and institutional assets to improve educational outcomes for Hispanic students, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

We hope that the Hispanic STEM Initiative will advance efforts to restore America's economic competitiveness by fulfilling the nation's need for diverse talent in the STEM fields

On September 14th, 2009, the National Association for Hispanic Education (NAHE) will host an inaugural launch event for its new Hispanic STEM Initiative. There, NAHE will formally present the Hispanic STEM Initiative's Advisory Committee to leading Hispanic organizations in the nation's capital. The event will be held at the offices of the Self Reliance Foundation, one of the founding members of the Hispanic STEM Initiative's Advisory Committee.

The purpose of the Hispanic STEM Initiative is to form strategic collaborations between stakeholder groups and organizations in order to maximize education outcomes for Hispanic students in the STEM fields, such as Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

"There has long-existed a wealth of assets in the form of human ingenuity, talent, expertise, and experience among Hispanic groups and organizations," stated Adam Chavarria, President of NAHE. "The Hispanic STEM Initiative Advisory Committee will draw on these assets to increase and expand positive educational outcomes for Hispanic students in STEM disciplines."

"At the meeting, the Advisory Committee will review the Initiative's five-year action plan and also expand upon the recommendations it recently submitted to the White House Office of Science and Technology in regards to increasing Hispanic participation in STEM fields," added Maite Arce, Advisory Committee Member and Sr. Programs and Policy Director for the Self Reliance Foundation.

Mike Acosta, Advisory Committee Member and MAES National President, considers this convening to be "…of urgent importance, given that less than 2% of the scientific stem workforce is Hispanic and almost twenty percent of the country's youth population is Hispanic."

"We hope that the Hispanic STEM Initiative will advance efforts to restore America's economic competitiveness by fulfilling the nation's need for diverse talent in the STEM fields," he continued.

The Hispanic STEM Initiative Advisory Committee emerged from a working group of stakeholders that convened at a conference held in April 2007 on the subject of the American Competitiveness Initiative at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The primary role of the Advisory Committee is to provide advice, counsel, and support to the Hispanic STEM Initiative in the course of implementing a five-year action plan that results in positive outcomes for Latino STEM students. The Committee will guide the Hispanic STEM

Initiative's work in its seven focus areas, which include: Families & Children; PreK-20 Partnerships; Professionals in the Classroom; STEM Development; STEM Education & Research; Teacher Education/Preparation; Career and Workforce Development.

Led by the National Association for Hispanic Education, members of the NAHE's Hispanic STEM Initiative Advisory Committee include: the Self Reliance Foundation, the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES), the Inter-American Development Bank, the California State University System, El Valor, HENAAC, TODOS: Mathematics for All, the Parent Institute for Quality Education, AHETEMS, and Loyola Marymount University.

Self Reliance Foundation's (SRF) mission combines the power of media with the strength of community-based outreach initiatives to inform, connect, and empower the U.S. Hispanic population to improve their health and quality of life. For more information visit http://www.selfreliancefoundation.org.

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