Hispanic Educational Summit

Hispanic Youth Educational Summit

The Hispanic Educational Summit is an initiative of the NCSHP to promote and disseminate information on the benefits of formal and higher education among the Hispanic youth of North Carolina.

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There is a vital need to encourage Hispanic students to stay in school, excel in their studies and pursue higher education. The Summit has been planned in part to fulfill this need. As you know, educated Latino youth, who become acculturated role models, are a tremendous investment in North Carolina’s future. 

Our Summit is the largest educational conference in North Carolina for middle and high school Hispanic students. More than 10,000 students from schools in more than 50 counties throughout North Carolina have participated in our annual summit initiative since 2000. The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute’s study “The New Latino South and the Challenge to Public Education” by Andrea Wainer highlights our summit initiative as: “Especially noteworthy is the NCSHP which organizes an annual statewide Hispanic educational summit“.

Summit Objectives

  • To serve as an outreach program to promote education among 7th – 12th grade Hispanic students utilizing workshops and presentations.
  • To motivate Hispanic students to excel at their highest potential in their studies through motivational talks by speakers who have achieved success in their professional careers.
  • To offer Hispanic students tips and information to acquire skills and develop strategies to improve their academic achievements.
  • To inform Hispanic students on educational opportunities and school programs in various community colleges and universities.

Conference Highlights

Motivational Speakers
Workshops / Presentations:

* Life Skills
– Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
– Self-Esteem
– Pregnancy Prevention and More..!

* Education Planning
– Graduation Requirements
– Study Skills
– School Resources
– SAT Preparation and More..!

* Career Planning
– Science and Computers
– Engineering
– Health Careers
– Real Estate
– Media Communications
– Accounting, Finance, and Banking
– Bilingual Skills and More..!

Information on Academic Programs & Services
* Community Colleges
* Universities and Colleges
* Educational Institutions
* U.S. Armed Forces
* Museums
* After School Programs and More..!

Students Helping Students Go to College


At this year’s Summit, we are asking ALL students and participants to help us raise money for the “Students Helping Students Go to College” Scholarship established within the NC Hispanic College Fund.

Please bring a donation of at least $1 to contribute to this worthy cause of helping high school students realize their dreams of going to college!

Conference Agenda

Hispanic Educational Summit
Friday, March 27, 2015

8:00 – 9:45 AM    Opening Ceremony – Welcome & Keynote Lecture

9:50 – 10:30 AM   Presentation/Workshop I

(Concurrent Sessions)

Exhibit Hall Visit by 11th-12th graders

10:40 – 11:20 AM  Presentation/Workshop II

 (Concurrent Sessions)

 Exhibit Hall Visit by 9th- 10th graders

11:30 – 12:15 PM  Lunch

12:25 – 1:05 PM  Presentation/Workshop III

(Concurrent Sessions)

Exhibit Hall Visit by 7th- 8th graders

1:10 – 2:30 PM    Closing Ceremony

Keynote Speakers

2015 Opening Keynote Speaker

Carlos Ojeda

Carlos Ojeda Jr. has been called one of the most dynamic speakers in America today. A former university administrator, professor and small business development center director, he now focuses his energy on empowering students to succeed by teaching them that their voice is their power. He is a youth development expert, with over fifteen years of experience inspiring students, from elementary school to college and education professionals in over 40 states.

Combining his entrepreneurial spirit with his passion for changing the lives of youth across the country, he started CoolSpeak: The Youth Engagement Company. CoolSpeak provides youth motivational speakers, programs, and events designed to engage, educate and empower youth. CoolSpeak represents over 25 of the top youth speakers in the country, and has certified and licensed over 50 facilitators and practitioners nationwide. Over a million lives have been inspired to date.

Carlos is an educator, youth speaker, author, poet, entrepreneur and yet still finds time to be a devoted husband to his wife, dedicated father to his sons and committed to his family and community.

2014 Closing Keynote Speaker 

Natalia Cruz
Natalia Cruz (1)

Born in Colombia to journalist parents, Natalia Cruz always had a passion for written works. In her youth she competed in writing contests. She won speech and poetry competitions as well as literature prizes.

Cruz attended Universidad del Norte  in Barranquilla Colombia, where she majored in social communications and journalism. While studying she worked in news radio on “Emisora Atlantico“. Cruz began her broadcasting career at age 17 as news anchor for the newscast “CV Noticias” on the regional television station Telecaribe. Her first exposure on national Colombian TV was in 1999 as news anchor and reporter on the TV Magazine “Extra” on Caracol Television.

In early 2000, Cruz moved to New York and worked for Spanish language Public TV on HITN (Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network), where she produced and anchored the shows “Corriente Cultural” and “Noti-Cultura“. Later that year, she started as the New York reporter for the daily morning show “Despierta America” on Univision, and did live shots for the longest-running variety TV show in the world “Sabado Gigante“.

In 2001 Natalia Cruz was hired by the New York Telemundo affiliate WNJU as a reporter for “Noticiero 47“. With only one month on the job, she covered the World Trade Center terrorist attacks, being one of the first reporters on the scene at Ground Zero. Her work was noted in the book, “Running Toward Danger: Stories Behind the Breaking News of September 11“; and she was featured on the 9/11 Tenth year exhibit at the Newseum in Washington D.C. After just 18 months working as a morning reporter, Cruz became news anchor on Telemundo 47, now part of NBC, and received the 2004 Emmy® Award as Best News Anchor for Tri-State area (NY, NJ, and CT). She was nominated the following year for five awards, winning another Emmy® Award for Best Newscast in 2005. Additionally she won the ACE Award as Best News Anchor that year. 2006 saw Cruz win her third Emmy® Award for Best Series of Social Interest.  

Natalia Cruz started as New York correspondent for “Primer Impacto” on Univision Network in early 2006. Her work there made her win the NY Latin Award for Best National Correspondent in 2008.

Natalia Cruz transferred to Miami in 2010 and has continued as a staff correspondent. Cruz often sits in as news anchor for shows at Univision, such as “Primer Impacto“, “Primer Impacto Extra“, “Despierta América“, “Noticiero Univision Fin de Semana“, “Al Punto” and “Desayuno Alegre“. She also briefs on “Noticiero Univision” and “Noticias Al Minuto” on TeleFutura.

In 2012 Natalia Cruz hosted “Es el momento” special “Primeros pasos hacia el éxito“, highlighting the importance of early childhood education; recorded at The White House featured artist Shakira and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan among other experts. In march 2013 she conducted from the studios, Univision’s first time ever live broadcast of Easter Mass from Vatican City celebrated by Pope Francis and also the Midnight Mass on Christmas.

Natalia Cruz currently lives in Miami with her husband Jairo Cruz and their four children Daniel (2003), Alexandro (2008), Christiana (2009) and Romana (2012).

SUMMIT 2015 Speaker Schedule:   Please view this before attending the Summit so that you and/or your students are prepared for what sessions you would like to attend.

Feature Presentations

“Introduction to Decision Making and Consequences: Self-Image & Self- Esteem, Stereotypes” – Adela Henry

Students  will  learn to make decisions  in life  and  deal  with  stereotypes/self-esteem, make good  choices in school  as they select their classes, participate in a cooperative learning activity, and learn briefly about  my years as an ESL student  and decisions I made to graduate from HS and college.

“Take Control: Discover the Winner in You”- Nora Herrera-Olivieri (In Spanish)

Descrubre tus habilidades y recursos para vencer los obstaculos que se presentan y alcanzar tus sueños y metas.

“How to stand out on a college application” 
Overview of the college application process and tips on how to make your application stand out among the others.

“How to Get the Dream Job you’ve Always Wanted” – Dr. Andrew Behnke, Professor at NCSU
Latino youth will learn to dream big, and will be given tools to help them apply themselves to be ready for the jobs of the future. Youth will learn the importance of college in making those dreams a reality. Youth will learn about the cost of college and how to fund college expenses.

“Transforming the World: Science and Engineering Power” - Marlon Aguirre
Encourage Hispanic HS students who want to pursue a career in Technology, Science. Engineering and Match (STEM). Provide an overview of the opportunities for people pursuing those kind of disciplines.

“Math and Science – Your Future Career” - Maria Hernandez, Math Instructor at NC School of Sciences and Math
To introduce students to possible careers in the math and science fields And to explain the opportunities for students to further their studies at the NC School of Science and Mathematics. In this session we will share ideas related to various careers in math and science and help students explore a few fun problems to whet their appetites. We will also share information about the NC School of Science and Math and how they can start preparing themselves for future study in these important areas.

“How to Say No and Keep your Friends” : Portia Lambright, Senior Administrator at Wake County Public School System
Participants will learn strategies on how to handle peer pressure that could get them in trouble with the law or an adult authority.

“Careers in Law Enforcement”  Jose Lopez, Chief of Police at Durham Police Department
To share with the students about the career of law enforcement officer and his experiences on this field.

“Study Skills” : Ricardo Perez and Andrew Belonga
Students will learn how to improve their study skills to effectively retain their knowledge and improve their school performance.

“Careers in Law “ : Yesenia Polanco, Attorney
To share the many options available for students interested in a career in Law. The Panel will discuss their life experiences as law students and lawyers

How Your Behavior Affects Your Education and your Future” – Maria Rosa Rangel, Senior Administrator at Communities in School Wake County
To make students aware about the challenges they will face in middle and high school such as bullying, gangs, drugs, culture isolation, culture identity and what are the NC DPI suspension policies that could get students suspended from school.

How to Earn College Credit in High School” :  How to earn College credit in high school

“Click CFNC.org: Connect to College and Careers!”: Donna Weaver, Spanish Services Coordinator at the College Foundation of North Carolina
Students will learn why you need to have a solid plan in order to achieve your dream career. Students will learn ways to research the perfect career based on their individual interests. Students will learn the education required to pursue their dream career. Students will learn about awesome NEW careers they may not have heard about.

“How to Apply to a University, Community College and Private College” – Anna Buryk, Meredith College, Ryan Everett, NCSU and Constanza Gomez-Joines, Durham Tech
This workshop will discuss admission requirements for NC State University, Meredith College and Durham Community College as well as highlight the differences between public, private and community college admission processes.

“The SAT & ACT: Scores, Scholarships, and Your College Future” – Sheba Lowe Brown: A+ Test Prep and Academic Services
The workshop will help students understand the SAT/ACT better, improve their scores, and increase opportunities to earn college admission and scholarships. Students will be able to answer actual test questions and get real-time feedback using our electronic answering system. The session includes an overview of the SAT and ACT practice using several test questions and tips for how to score higher, and end by showing students how their test scores can help them earn college scholarships.

“Careers in Military and How To Pay for College” – Gilberto Alvarado, Military Academic Advisor at the University of North Carolina
This workshop will inform high school students about the different careers in the military and how the military can help them pay for college.

“Careers in Nursing” – Elizabeth Prata, Family Nurse Practitioner at the UNC Latino Clinic
This workshop will inform students, parents, and educators of the careers in nursing and the education needed for each.

“Introducing Health Careers” – Sherrod L. Basnight, Associate Director at Wake AHEC

Students will know the range of careers available in the health care fields. They will also learn what personal qualities a student should have that would be beneficial in a particular health career.

“The Art of Achievement” – Paul Cuadros, Writer and Associate Professor at the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication; Rodrigo Dorfman, Filmmaker and Producer/Director at Melloweb Multimedia; Marlon Torres, Dancer, Choreographer and Managing Director for NC Arts in Action
If you’re serious about pursuing a career in the arts or just want to learn more about how the arts can help prepare you for success in school, other careers, and in life, you won’t want to miss this panel. Join Paul Caudros, Rodrigo Dorfman, and Marlon Torres in a conversation about the path to success in their art forms, how they’ve made a living in the arts, and how ou cna use art skills in everyday life and in preparation for college. You’ll be able to ask questions and view a trailer for a documentary based on Paul Cuadros’ book A Home in the Field and a trailer of Rodrigo Dorfman’s Roberto’s Dreams.

“Goal setting and Successful Thinking” – Andrew Belonga, College Student, Wake Tech – Explain to students that it is not impossible to become whatever they want. Students will create a plan and a path to the colleges and universities they want to attend and the career they want to pursue.

“I’ve gotta be me!” – Elizabeth Langston, ESL Teacher, Angier Elementary – This workshop will encourage students and give them steps and resources that will help build their self esteem and confidence as Latinos in our schools. Students will conduct hands on activities and leave the workshop feeling proud of their heritage and assured that they can and WILL succed in school but most importantly in life.

“Enhancing Your Summers 101″ – Jorge Pacheo, College Student, NCSU -Assisting students in discovering camps directed towards their interests, their intended major or even their desired colleges. Finding volunteer opportunities. Getting a summer job. Making the best use of the free time which they are given during these 2 or 3 months of summer vacation.


Adelante Education Coalition of NC

Appalachian State University

BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina

Central Carolina Community College

City Of Raleigh – Public Utilities Department

College Foundation of North Carolina

Cisco Systems

Durham Technical Community College

Food Lion

Girl’s Scouts

Guilford College

Johnston Community College

Job Corps

Longwood University

Meredith College

Mexican Consulate

Nationwide Insurance

La Noticia

NC Association of CPA’s

NC Division of Services for the Blind

NCSU Admissions

NCSU College of Natural Resources

North Carolina Central University

PNC Bank

Social Security Administration

UNC Chapel Hill

UNC at Charlotte

UNC Greensboro

UNC at Wilmington

UNC Medical School


Wake Technical Community College-HEP Program



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Conference Location

The McKimmonCenter
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC


Take I-40 east to Exit 295, Gorman Street Exit. Turn left, follow Gorman 2.5 miles (through 4 lights). McKimmonCenter is on right before 5th stoplight.

Take 64 East to US 1 North/440 North. Follow 440 North to Western Boulevard Exit. Exit right and follow Western Boulevard to 2nd light. At 2nd light take right onto Gorman Street. McKimmonCenter is on the left.

Take I-40 West to Gorman Street Exit 295. Turn right, follow Gorman 2.5 miles (through 4 lights). McKimmonCenter is on the right before 5th stoplight.

Take US 1 South into Raleigh. Take 440 South to Western Boulevard/NC State exit. Exit right proceed under bridge. Go to 2nd light on Western Boulevard and turn right onto Gorman Street. McKimmonCenter is on the left.

Take US 1 North. US 1 North merges into 440 North. Follow 440 North to Western Boulevard Exit. Follow Western Boulevard to 2nd light. Take right onto Gorman Street. McKimmonCenter is on the left.



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North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals
8450 Chapel Hill Road, Suite 209
Cary, NC 27513

Phone: (919) 467-8424
Fax: (919) 469-1785
E-mail: mailbox@TheNCSHP.org