Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), discusses how HHF prepares the Latino leaders of tomorrow with a STEM education and skill set, one of the many career areas within the U.S. Army.

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The mission of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation is to inspire,  prepare, and connect Latino leaders in the classroom, community, and the workforce/ to meet America's priorities.

The greatest alignment with the U.S. Army is that we're providing a valuable proposition to America. and with the Army, we specifically do it in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. We want to make sure that the Army has the best talent from minority communities, including Latinos. So we want to make sure that the top talent is being prepared to help America move forward, whether it's through the Army or through corporate America, or through other government agencies. 

And that's one of the things that we do with the Army is we do STEM symposia in 15 markets all over the country where high school students are brought together to learn about career fields that exist. Whether you want to become a medic, whether you want to be a psychologist, whether you want to be an engineer, whether you want to be a computer programmer, whether you like video games, and there's an actual career for you. 

So we're introducing and actually teaching computer coding through a program called Code as a Second Language, in making sure that young people understand that their affinity for technology translates into an actual potential career in cybersecurity, in coding, in other areas that America's desperate to fill.

From the work that we've done, we've had students actually go into ROTC, go to college, go to grad school through the U.S. Army. They're going to have a pathway that's very different because you have mentors that are built into the whole system of the Army sending you off to college. Also to have leadership training. We don't want someone to just be an engineer. We want them to be a leader while being an engineer.

It's always going to be inherently good for our community when we can promote education, service, and workforce development in our community. It just strengthens it, which of course, our community is so big at this point that it's going to strengthen America.

There is no organization that understands or promotes that better than the U.S. Army, and we're very proud to be able to partner with them and get those messages across.