Hispanic College Fund Launches Hispanic Youth Institute Today

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Community-led, year-round programming to empower students for success in college, career and community service.

Since 2004, we have watched the Hispanic Youth Symposium grow immensely, and we realized that our students had a serious need for year-round support and education in the areas of college, career and community service

Today the Hispanic College Fund (HCF) launched the Hispanic Youth Institute, a web-based initiative designed to empower high school students to pursue a college education, enter a professional career, and give back to their communities. The Hispanic Youth Institute will initially serve the 2,600 alumni of HCF's Hispanic Youth Symposium, a four-day college empowerment program that has been hosted in numerous cities across the U.S. since 2004. Alumni will invite other students to participate in student-led Hispanic Youth Institute programming, with the goal of creating grassroots cultural change amongst Latinos in American high schools.

"Our experience working with high school students has taught us that they are an incredibly powerful influence for their peers," said Idalia Fernandez, president of the Hispanic College Fund. "That's why the Hispanic College Fund is focused on creating change from the bottom-up - starting with the students themselves. Not only will this student-led program help individual students succeed, but it will also change the college-going culture of the schools that our students attend."

The curriculum of the Hispanic Youth Institute will change monthly to strengthen students' skills and knowledge in different areas. In September, students will be encouraged to form clubs with other HYS alumni in their schools, which will serve to disseminate the monthly programming of the Hispanic Youth Institute. The Hispanic College Fund will provide student groups with targeted PowerPoint presentations, peer-authored blog entries, expert-written articles, and helpful links to support students' learning of each month's theme.

The curriculum will follow this calendar:

  • September - Foundations for Success Month
  • October - Hispanic Heroes/Mentoring Month
  • November - Realizing the College Dream Month
  • December - Realizing the College Dream Month
  • January - Make a Difference Month
  • February - Making it Happen Career Month
  • March - Making it Happen Career Month
  • April - Civic Engagement Month
  • May - Individual Development Plan Month
  • June - Inspiration Month

"Since 2004, we have watched the Hispanic Youth Symposium grow immensely, and we realized that our students had a serious need for year-round support and education in the areas of college, career and community service," said George Cushman, vice president of programs of the Hispanic College Fund and a co-founder of the Hispanic Youth Symposium. "With the grassroots, student-led design of the Hispanic Youth Institute we can provide this programming to our HYS alumni and also other high school students, expanding our impact across the country."

To learn more about the Hispanic Youth Institute, visit http://www.hispanicyouth.org/institute.

All are encouraged to follow the Hispanic College Fund on Twitter and Facebook for continual updates on the Hispanic Youth Institute. Follow @hispanicfund on Twitter and visit our Facebook causes page at http://apps.facebook.com/causes/beneficiaries/5459?m=370a5b0b.

About the Hispanic College Fund:
Founded in 1993, the Hispanic College Fund is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., with a mission to develop the next generation of Hispanic professionals. For 15 years, the Hispanic College Fund has provided educational, scholarship, and mentoring programs to students throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, establishing a career pipeline of talented and career-driven Hispanics who are trained in the fields of business, science, technology, engineering and math. The Hispanic College Fund has an annual budget of $6 million with 20 full-time employees. In 2006, the Hispanic College Fund received the Brillante award for "Nonprofit of the Year" from the National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and in 2007 was recognized by USA Today as one of the nation's top 25 charities. In 2009, the organization was honored with Charity Navigator's highest rating for non-profit management and financial responsibility. For more information, please visit: http://www.hispanicfund.org

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Anne Guarnera
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