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July 27, 2010 > Silicon Valley Hispanic Youth Symposium

Silicon Valley Hispanic Youth Symposium

Submitted By Alina Rossini

More than 140 students, community leaders and corporate employees will volunteer for the inaugural Silicon Valley Hispanic Youth Symposium, serving as professional role models, guest speakers, competition judges, workshop facilitators, and more. The 2010 Silicon Valley Hispanic Youth Symposium will be held from July 28-31 at Santa Clara University in partnership with National Hispanic University, Santa Clara University and East Side Union High School District. About 100 local Latino high school students are expected to attend the four-day, three-night college empowerment program, where they will participate in college and career workshops, attend a college admissions fair, connect with local Hispanic professionals and college admissions officers, and compete for more than $10,000 in scholarships.

"It is so exciting to see this magnitude of community involvement for the first year of the Silicon Valley Hispanic Youth Symposium," said Claudia Avila-Mart’n, Hispanic College Fund director of the Silicon Valley Hispanic Youth Institute. "So much work goes into making the best experience for the students to feel empowered and prepared to go to college. It's not only important for volunteers to be involved with the program for logistical support, but for the students to connect first-hand with adults who genuinely express a firm belief in them to succeed."

"The success of this program is incredibly dependent on community involvement," said Kathryn Grady, Hispanic College Fund director of corporate and foundation relations of western states. "We're seeing tremendous interest from community and business leaders who understand the impact that just four hours of donated time can have on students who have never before met a Hispanic professional."

Microsoft is the presenting sponsor of the inaugural symposium, and has committed employee volunteers as speakers, career workshop presenters, and Hispanic Heroes.

"Microsoft is excited at the opportunity to invest in the future of the next generation of Latino leaders," said Sid Espinosa, Director of Citizenship for Microsoft, Silicon Valley. "We believe strongly that higher education is a great lever enabling people to realize their full potential and contribute to their community, and we are proud of our association with the Hispanic College Fund and their programs."

In addition to business leaders, college students will be participating as alumni or residence assistants for the students, serving as advisors in the dorms and helping the students navigate their time on campus.

Sponsors of the Silicon Valley Hispanic Youth Symposium include: Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, The Hewlett Packard Foundation, Lockheed Martin, Castellano Family Foundation, U.S. Bank, Intel, Wells Fargo, University of Phoenix Foundation, Union Bank, Office of San Josˇ Mayor Chuck Reed; San Josˇ Police Officers Association, Google, and Virginia Tech.

National sponsors include: Darden Foundation, Microsoft, NASA, and the Social Security Administration.

The Hispanic Youth Symposium guides Hispanic students to achieve a college education, pursue a professional career, and commit to community service. Following the summer initiative, all students will be enrolled in year-round programming through the Hispanic Youth Institute, a program of the Hispanic College Fund. The Hispanic Youth Institute provides ongoing education and motivation to reinforce the key themes of the symposium.

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. The National Hispanic University is a fully accredited four-year private university. For more information, please visit

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