“This program is prestigious and exposes us to top Hispanic leaders in the state,” Caesar Sanchez, a student at Farleigh Dickinson University said. “If they can succeed, so can I.”
Caesar was referring to a recent mentoring and networking event with Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA). HISPA is a New Jersey-based nonprofit organization that PSEG proudly supports. It was formed to engage Hispanic professionals as volunteers to help eradicate one key reason Hispanic students do not pursue higher education: a lack of role models.
Caesar is just one of the students who have benefited from our long-standing partnership with HISPA. For over ten years, we have worked with the organization to co-develop various programs. The support from the PSEG Foundation was instrumental in HISPA launching the Latinos in College Program to help connect professionals with college students to support the development of their leadership skills and build professional networks. We also provided additional funding to HISPA’s Role Models Program in support of students in fifth to eighth grades from underserved communities, enabling the program’s expansion from the Elizabeth Public Schools system to other school districts in the state.
PSEG’s employee business resource group, Adelante also plays an instrumental role in bringing HISPA’s mission and vision to life. “Adelante is passionate and dedicated to advancing the continuous development of the Latino community and helping more people get excited about career opportunities in the energy and utilities sector,” said Christa Newsom, PSEG’s enterprise DEI and culture manager.
Adelante has been part of many HISPA events throughout the year, including hosting 22 college students in Newark for a day-long conference as part of the HISPA Leadership Workshop Series and the New Jersey’s Governor’s Hispanic Fellowship. Adelante also participated in the HISPA youth conference, hosted by Princeton University, helping nineth and 10th graders create desk-size robots. In addition to events, based on Adelante’s recommendation, the PSEG Foundation supported HISPA’s Three Kings annual fundraiser, a celebration recognizing the individuals, companies and employee resource groups whose endeavors coincide with HISPA’s mission and benefit educational empowerment for Latino youth.
“The PSEG Foundation provides funding for these programs to support youth development in a way that directly ties education to careers,” said Maria Spina, manager of the PSEG Foundation. “These programs also have a strong professional development component, enabling employees to represent PSEG within the communities in which they live and work.”
Tonya Delgado-Gonzalez from Mercer County Community College and a participant of the HISPA Leadership series agreed. “It’s really nice to see people succeed and it helps me believe in myself.”