(WNCT) The North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals is here to help.
“Our only mission is to promote education among Latino students in North Carolina. So in 1999, The Society of Hispanic Professionals is born. For two main reasons that time there was a low representation of Hispanics in higher education and also the low representation of Hispanics in the professional fields.,” said Marco Zarate, President, and Co-Founder, North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals.
One field the organization promotes is STEM.
With organizations like this in place, it helps students see people like themselves in authority, encouraging them to continue their education.
Somebody like Jose Garcia.
He’s the STEM Education Director for Greene County Schools and is also a member of the society.
According to district leadership, Greene County School’s Hispanic population is a little more than 30%.
“For me, the extra motivation was when I started here the population was at 6 percent and being the only Latino educator in the district for a while and gaining that respect and relationships with those families and students over time. Like any student they need to see somebody like themselves in those leadership roles because they then feel empowered that they can accomplish those goals as well,” said Jose Garcia, STEM Education Director, Greene County Schools.
Students like Amy and Joaquin who both attend Greene Central High School in Snow Hill.
Both students Benefiting from Mr. Garcia’s influence.
“It’s important because I see how other people were able to get to places I couldn’t think of. It makes me feel proud because you really don’t see Hispanics in positions that normally other people do it’s harder for them and just seeing them get there it’s inspiring,” said Joaquin Villagran, Sophomore, Greene Central High School.
“It makes me feel good it like makes me more comfortable,” said Amy Ordonez, Senior, Greene Central High School
Both students dreaming big when it comes to STEM-related careers.
With Garcia’s presence in the school, Hispanic students are seeing their own potential success right before their very eyes.
“It’s all connected,” said Zarate
The North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals hopes by helping push education in the Hispanic community it can lead to more powerful things in the future.
“Our hope is that more and more Hispanic children and youth finish high school pursue a possible secondary education that would put them in a better position to integrate with our state to contribute to our state pay more taxes. And for the benefit of everybody really contribute to our state,” said Zarate.
It takes a village to help kids succeed. Anyone Hispanic or not is invited to join The North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals to help the generations after them.