—Lisa Pino, Deputy Administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, Program Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee.
It’s been an amazing 35th anniversary year! Not only did we award nearly $30 million to over 4,200 students, but we surpassed a $330 million milestone in scholarships awarded, and our scholars’ retention and graduation rates have continued to be nearly double the norm.
Looking to the future of Latino higher education, we hosted our first Education Summit, where we opened the dialogue among governments, foundations, corporations, media, nonprofits and communities about the role of Hispanic Americans in our economy. At the summit, we launched Generation 1st Degree®—a movement to benefit the nation by bringing a college degree into every Latino household®. This initiative has garnered tremendous support, especially from our corporate donors, many of whom pledged generous resources and helped craft the agenda to advance this movement nationally.
The catalyst of this movement was the launch of our public service ad campaign Your Words Today®, with messages of encouragement and resources to help Latino parents get involved in their children’s educations. Developed in partnership with the Ad Council, the campaign has reached over a half-million Latino families to date.
With Hispanic Americans expected to make up 30% of our workforce by 2050, we are committed to helping the U.S. remain globally competitive by helping Latino students earn a college education. This is not just a Hispanic issue; it’s an urgent national issue.
On behalf of all of us at HSF, and the thousands of Latino students and families who benefit from our collective work, I thank you.
Frank D. Alvarez President and CEO Hispanic Scholarship Fund