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Hispanic Student Support Needed for National Success

In an effort to recognize and encourage Hispanic high school seniors who are planning to earn a degree in STEM, LULAC National Educational Service Centers Inc. (LNESC) has unveiled their national scholarship program. The program – funded by Exxon Mobil Corporation – will award twelve annual scholarships of $2000 to students representing the twelve LULAC education service centers, in addition to the grand prize of a single, four-year $20,000 scholarship.
This program could not have come at a more critical time. By 2018, the American economy will have created 46.8 million new jobs, and nearly two-thirds of these jobs will require some form of college education; however, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 14% of Hispanics held  Bachelor’s degrees in 2010. These numbers are alarming, especially when one considers the fact that people without a high school diploma have the highest levels of unemployment and the lowest levels of pay.

If our nation truly wants to close the achievement gap and remain globally competitive, then we need to help our students reach their goals by providing them with the opportunity to improve their education. But more than that, though, we need to help these students learn and grow by providing them with a pool of engaging educational activities to get students excited about math and science. One way of doing this is by educating the educators and providing teachers with hands-on lessons, engaging classroom activities, and teacher support.
NMSI is already seeing dramatic results in this area. On average, only 16% of Hispanic students leave high school college-ready, but schools that have implemented our AP program have seen the number of Hispanic students’ passing scores double in their first year alone, and those Hispanic students who pass an AP exam are four time more likely to earn a college degree than those who do not pass. These results are exciting, because, as the chart above shows, a college degree actually does translate into more money for the graduate – they earn nearly twice the income than that of a high school graduate.
We are making progress in our mission to serve and support America’s future workforce, but they still need more – and we especially need more Hispanics entering STEM related fields in order for our nation to stay globally relevant. Great steps have been taken to ensure the success of America’s future and it is important for more schools, organizations, and companies to continue taking these steps by supporting students who need encouragement to follow STEM careers.