The Latino Speaker Series: Inspiration for Underserved Populations

The world is full of stereotypes. They inform decision-making, interactions, even the way people think. Thier place in society may have recently been reopened to debate, but there is no question that some are outdated, unfounded, or just plain wrong.

The Latino Speaker Series was created in part to eliminate the negative stereotypes surrounding the Latino community. Far from being the needy, indigent group portrayed in certain media outlets, the Latino culture is in fact defined by a hard-working, family centric value system that underlies a colorful and vibrant mystique.

“We want to dispel rumors about Latino high school drop-out rates and the idea that all Latinos are waiting for a handout,” says Dr. Judy Castro, project director of the Undergraduate Success Center at John F. Kennedy University. “There is a spirit of entrepreneurship and wanting to make their environment a better place.”

The 2017 speaker series starts with Frank Carbajal. He echoes this sentiment in his book Building the Latino Future: Success Stories for the Next Generation. An inspiring collection of success stories from the country’s most prominent Latinos, this book offers insight and advice for Latinos in any industry who want to succeed. Mr. Carbajal is a successful individual in his own right, having founded the Silicon Valley Leadership Summit as well as founding and presiding as president of EsTiempo LLC.

The series continues on March 9th with Dr. Mara Perez as the esteemed guest speaker. Dr. Perez is a fund development and strategic planning consultant and founder of the LATINO FUTURES Initiative. Her areas of expertise encompass education, economic development, philanthropy, immigration, and Latinos in the U.S. Dr. Perez has been published in Stanford Social Innovation Review, MIT Press, among others. She is an author, public speaker, a member of the Latino Community Foundation’s San Francisco Giving Circle, and Senior Research Fellow at Dominican University of California’s Institute for Leadership Studies. The title of her presentation is “Latino Wealth and Leadership Creation: Redefining the Latino Community in the U.S.”

The Latino Speaker Series is organized by the Undergraduate Success Center, part of an effort to expand the academic environment for the University’s Hispanic/Latina-o and underserved student population by offering dedicated services and resources.