On Thursday, March 23rd, at the invitation of Salem State University, YDO participated in a stakeholders' roundtable aimed at “Strengthening the Latino Pipeline into STEM+M Fields." The focus on STEM+M was tabled to more intentionally include the medical professions.
Hosted in Boston by ALPFA, the event was headlined by a keynote from former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Antonia Novello, who spoke passionately about the need for Latino students to gain early exposure and experience in STEM+M fields. Dr. Novello also placed great emphasis on the importance of mentorship and relationships in helping Latinos persist along education and career pathways.
Then, alongside Commissioner of Higher Ed. for MA Carlos E. Santiago and MA Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, YDO's Executive Director had an opportunity to present information about YDO, its long-term engagement of students in Lawrence, and its development of the STEM Design Lab. It is not everyday that YDO shares a platform with the highest education authorities in Massachusetts, and the team was very appreciative for the opportunity.
Perhaps the highlight of the event, however, was the valuable participation of YDO students in the roundtable discussions. Our kids (who are no longer kids) were able to discuss in depth issues affecting STEM+M participation among low-income Latinos with small groups of decision makers representing business, nonprofit & education stakeholders. One of the main takeaways - Do more to support student-centered, opportunity-creating organizations like YDO.
YDO 'Kids' participating in the roundtable:
- Aguedo de los Santos - Lawrence High '12, University of New Hampshire '16, Engineer at Superior Controls
- Angy Ceballos - Lawrence High '13, Electrical Engineering major at UMass Lowell
- Joshua Jacobo - Brooks School '13, Education major at Northern Essex Community College
- Yaznairy Cabrera - Notre Dame Cristo Rey '16, QuestBridge Scholar (undeclared major) at Williams College
About Dr. Antonia Novello
Born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Novello was the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as U.S. Surgeon General, appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990. Dr. Novello also worked for UNICEF ('93-'96) and served as Commissioner of Health for the State of New York ('99-'06), where she was responsible for disaster management after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) is a national, not-for-profit professional association that creates opportunities, adds value, and builds relationships for its members, the community and its business partners while expanding Latino Leadership in the global workforce. ALPFA Boston is the second largest chapter with over 7,000 members, including more than 14 corporate partners across MA.