Message from President & CEO
Wednesday, April 13, 2020
Dear HFSV Supporter,
Dear HFSV Supporter,
It is too early to know the final impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the Silicon Valley Latino community. However, it is clear at this early stage of the crisis, the impact on low-income Latino students has been significant, and in the long run, could be crippling. Most Latinos students attend public schools that are under-resourced with technology such as laptops, wi-fi access, and other needed technologies. Additionally, Latino families often live in neighborhoods that have poor in-home wi-fi access.
Much like the loss of knowledge experienced by Latino students during the normal summer break, the current “shelter in place” and pandemic will widen the academic achievement gap even more given that the families we serve do not have access to equitable educational services and resources.
In just weeks after the shelter, we accomplished a total “pivot” and moved some of our student and parent education programs to webinar platforms. We continue to support our program partners to provide access to those services and resources for our students and parents.
A few early lessons learned:
- Latino families are eager and ready to access more resources virtually. As an example, parents participating in our Parent Engagement Academy use mostly smartphones to access webinars and have been active participants in these sessions. They want more for them and their children!
- The only hold up we are having in expanding our programs is the delay some of our partner schools are having in adapting to change and new technologies. Some of the educational innovations during this shelter in place will become a mainstay in schools. This is the time to support schools and push them to adopt technologies and practices that will improve education in all communities.
- Our biggest concern is the well documented “Summer Learning Loss”, or what we call the “Shelter in Place Learning Loss”. Many of the disadvantaged students we serve will start the academic year with achievement levels lower than where they were at the beginning of summer break or even before. Many of the public schools we work with are not offering any online learning or provide minimal resources.
Special thanks to our funders who have stepped up to the plate. They understand that the services we provide are essential to continue narrowing the achievement gap in the Latino community in Silicon Valley. Thanks also to the amazing staff of the HFSV.
To see a list of programs we are currently offering and how we are adapting and planning for the future click here.
Hispanic Foundation College Success Center
The Hispanic Foundation College Success Center (HFCSC) has taken the initiative of transitioning our traditionally in-person education excellence programs to an online platform. The HFCSC Team is actively collaborating with our program partners and outreaching to the community to provide virtual programming for middle school students, high school students, and parents. These are the current online programs and our plans for the summer:
- Girls Who Code – Middle School – San Jose and Ravenswood School District - The Girls Who Code Virtual Club is set to launch on April 14, 2020, twice a week until mid-May.
- SAT Test Prep course for high school students – 24 high school juniors from Downtown College Prep (DCP) are participating in this virtual class. HFSV, our DCP Teacher, and the College Spring Team collaborated to move the workshops online to Google Classroom.
- Parent Engagement Academies in San Mateo and East Palo Alto/East Menlo Park – 15 parents attending currently enrolled. We are in the final stages of launching the next PIQE class with the parents of KIPP Charter School in East San Jose.
- College Readiness Workshop for high school Juniors and Seniors titled: “Comparing Admission Offers & Getting that Cash!” – 22 high school seniors attending from the East San Jose Unified School District, and the Foundation for Hispanic Education.
- Summer classes – working with our program partners to provide numerous summer programs for our Latino students and parents to make up for the loss of summer education programs by local school districts.
Latinos in Technology Scholarship (LITS)
- Career Coaching for 72 college students who are recipients of our Latinos in Technology Scholarship recipients via Empowered Students
- The HFSV Conexiones (Connections) Program offers the Latinos In Technology Scholarship recipients an opportunity to partner with a Latinx STEM professional in Silicon Valley. Since 82% of our Scholars are 1st Generation College students they could benefit from coaching from other STEM Latinos from local Hi-Tech Latinx Employee Resource Groups. This five-month program will focus on leadership and professional development skills. A mentor can share with students their college and career path, as well as provide guidance, motivation, emotional support, and become a role model. A mentor may also help with exploring careers, setting goals, developing contacts, and identifying resources in hi-tech careers. Interested volunteers can learn more here.
- Internships for Latinos in Technology Scholars. We are reaching out to our corporate partners individually in search of summer internships for our Scholars. Experience shows that summer internships often lead to job offers from technology companies.
Latino Board Leadership Academy (LBLA)
- In these uncertain times having diverse and representative leadership at the board level is key to bringing a different perspective of the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on the most disadvantaged populations of our community.
- The current LBLA is in full motion using the Zoom platform for the first time with over 35 participants. You can learn more here.
- We are delighted that we have over 45 applications for the San Mateo County LBLA that starts online on April 29th.
The Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley depends on donations from individuals like you. With your involvement, we are addressing the needs of the Latino community, expanding the philanthropic pie and increasing our charitable impact.