Nuestro Futuro

The 2018 Latino Education Conference recently took place in our nation’s capital.  LATINO Magazine’s eighth annual event brought together several hundred Latino opinion makers, influencers, and community leaders at the Capital Hilton a few blocks from the White House.

Participants also included executives from companies such as ExxonMobil, GM, AT&T, and Microsoft. Students participated from Parkdale High , a public magnet school in Riverdale Park, MD. One common thread running through the panels and roundtable discussions throughout the day was the need for outreach to encourage Latinos to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“Many more companies are talking the talk,” said LATINO Publisher Alfredo Estrada as he opened the conference. “But sometimes they’re only talking to themselves, so the message has not gotten through to the Latino community. The purpose of our NUESTRO FUTURO initiative is to spread the word about STEM through Latino media.”

In the morning, students heard from Esmeralda Guzman, Program Director for the Three Dimensional Expeditionary Long Range Radar Program for the U.S. Air Force at Raytheon. A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, she joined Raytheon in 1998.

The first interactive panel was entitled “Partnerships in Education” and included: Ivonne Diaz-Claisse, HISPA; Carlos Mark Vera, Pay Our Interns; and Maritza Huerta, TheTwinsPR. Students then listened to Joseph Matos, IMPACT, who described the outstanding career opportunities offered by the Ironworkers.

The second panel was “Careers in Government Relations” and was moderated by Dalia Almanza Smith, LATINO. Panelists included Richard Lopez, GM; Nelson Perez, National Grid; Susan Santana, AT&T; and Leonardo Garzon, LinkedIn.

Lunch was served in the historic Congressional Ballroom, and featured several guest speakers including Domenika Lynch, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; Tony Tijerino, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, on behalf of luncheon sponsor ExxonMobil; and Jackie Puente, ComcastNBCUniversal.

The keynote was delivered by Kevin Hilton, CEO of IMPACT.  A proud graduate of the University of Michigan, Kevin has dedicated his career to the advancement of the construction industry. Our special guest of honor was Jovita Carranza, who became Treasurer of the United States following a long and successful career at UPS, where she was the highest-ranking Latina in the history of the company.

It was an exciting end to NUESTRO FUTURO, our annual Latino Education Conference. Many thanks to our partners at ExxonMobil, Raytheon, IMPACT, GM, AT&T Foundation, Microsoft, ComcastNBCUniversal, National Grid, UCDavis, and ETS for their support, and to all who attended, especially teachers and students from Parkdale. ¡Gracias!