The 85th annual LULAC National Convention & Exposition took place in New York City earlier this month. Each year, over 20,000 participants attend this premier Latino convention, including top leaders from government, business, and the Latino community. The theme for this year’s convention was “The Power of Latino Unity,” with many opportunities to celebrate this unity as well as our diverse culture. This event was a chance to learn more about the challenges that remain for our people and to recognize the triumphs we have achieved together.
This year’s convention featured numerous seminars and workshops on critical topics, a job fair, and special events and leadership development activities for LULAC young adult members. During the five-‐day convention, participants representing Latino communities from across the country discussed the pressing issues facing our community, and most importantly, directed our path forward. Nissan Motor Company also hosted the LNESC Appreciation Reception at the convention, where we recognized many of our corporate partners like Nissan, AT&T, Shell, P&G, Target, US Army, Verizon and McDonald’s just to name a few, for their consistent support and sponsorship of our organization’s educational programs. Even First Lady Michelle Obama graced us with her presence this year and gave special recognition to the work of LNESC.
Since 1973, LNESC, LULAC’s educational arm -‐ has provided educational programming services to more than 18,000 Hispanic students per year at fourteen regional centers and has provided approximately a million dollars in scholarships to Hispanic students each year. “At LNESC, we believe in building a solid education foundation for our youth to ensure they succeed and become leaders in their communities,” states Richard Roybal, Executive Director of LNESC. Digital learning can enhance traditional classroom learning by igniting student curiosity and fueling scholastic inquiry. Access to modern connectivity in our classrooms means that students and teachers have access to new and innovative methods that enrich the learning experience while simultaneously helping our students develop the digital literacy skills they need to succeed in tomorrow’s world. And along the way, broadband connectivity delivers access to technology-‐assisted,individualized lessons, interactive educational games, online quizzes, and other resources that complement classroom learning. That is why modernizing our nation’s E-‐Rate program will allow the subsidizing of broadband access into schools and public libraries plays a vital role in education.
This is an especially critical issue for our Latino students. Brimming with potential, intelligence, and talent, some of America’s Latino students nonetheless have unique challenges that too often keep them from achieving their academic goals. Lack of reliable access to broadband is frequently one of those challenges—which is also true for many other minority students, including those in rural schools. From our position at the forefront of this issue, it’s clear that the focus must remain on ensuring that all students have access to broadband connectivity if they are to access the resources and develop the skills they will need for the 21st century. Today’s young people are tomorrow’s leaders. Every community must work together to make sure that our young people have equal opportunity to overcome challenges and succeed.
By Elia Quintana, Director, Corporate Relations & Development, LNESC