Hello and thanks for your interest in the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Those who know our work are aware that an investment in HSF produces impressive results: a greater than 80% graduation rate of our scholars.
Each of these students is a quality, academic performer, who is destined to follow the hundreds of HSF alumni who have accomplished great things for themselves, their families and our common national community. Thanks to your support, thousands of Latino college students have attained their degrees and are contributing in any variety of ways to better America and improve the world.
In appreciation of your interest, allow me to provide three brief highlights. My hope is that once read, you’ll feel further connected to our work and will call or write me with comments, thoughts and ideas.
First, we are approaching a very special time of year, the staging of our Alumni Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Each fall, we honor five accomplished individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their respective fields. They are living billboards of our work. This annual event is a celebration of their success and ours.
We started the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2002 to provide role models and inspire others to greatness. The stories of these incredible people -- many of whom overcame tremendous odds en route to earning their degrees -- are so moving, they produce tears of joy and pride from the audience each year.
Secondly, from the donor perspective (the people who make our impressive results possible), we thank you for having risen to the challenge. Even in these difficult economic times, our supporters continue to prioritize and fund this important work.
To those highlighted in this issue, we extend a warm “abrazo” (hug) in gratitude and recognition of your awareness and active support of this national, educational agenda. Please take time to review this list of Corporate Investors and Institutional and Individual Supporters; they allow HSF to continue our successful endeavors!
Lastly, in an effort to engage and equip you on this matter of “The importance of Latino Higher Education to the USA,” let me provide you facts as to why this subject affects you and why this is important to everyone else, too. Many people mistakenly think Hispanic Higher Ed does not affect them. Wrong! The current cycle of under-education among Latinos affects us all.
All of us need to be aware that the country’s future is going to be disproportionately dependent on the Latino population. Just this May, the U.S. Census Bureau announced there are now more than 45.5 million Hispanic Americans. The bureau estimates the Hispanic growth trend will continue to outpace non-Latinos by double-digit percentages in the next two decades.
Another factor is the mean age of Latinos is 26.6, the youngest of any ethnicity in the United States. By 2030, nearly one in four school-age children in the nation will be Hispanic. Latinos already are the majority of students in some major, urban school districts throughout the country.
Because of this, we all have a stake in assuring more Hispanics earn their college degrees. We all need to work at breaking the cycle of under-education of Latinos. We should do this for the sake of all children and grandchildren. To meet the future need for more doctors to tend our health, more engineers to build our infrastructure and more scientists to keep us advancing, we need to invest in more scholarships for Hispanics.
So HSF is stepping up its call to action. In the next few months, and over the course of the next year, you will see HSF take a leadership position in raising awareness of this issue, and how it impacts everyone, regardless of race, creed or color.
For 34 years, HSF has been promoting increased Latino Higher Ed as a solution to help America grow. Our vision in 1975 is still as relevant in 2009: To strengthen our country by advancing college education among Hispanic Americans. Because of the population shift, this message is more important than ever.
Now is the time for us to continue our work for the benefit of our beloved land. Only by doing so, can America’s future youth begin a new chapter and start a new cycle of college-going among our country’s Latinos. Thank you for your involvement.
Frank D. Alvarez
President & CEO