Southeastern’s College of Business is launching its second cohort of the Hispanic Leadership Program as part of the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month and the university’s commitment to cultural diversity and the professional development of the Hispanic population. The cohort includes 52 students from high schools in Tangipahoa and Livingston parishes.
According to the Pew Hispanic Institute, the U.S. Hispanic population reached 62.1 million in 2020, an increase of 23 percent over the previous decade that outpaced the nation’s 7 percent overall population growth. The share of U.S. Hispanics with college experience has increased since 2010. About 42 percent of U.S. Hispanic adults ages 25 and older had at least some college experience in 2019. Overall, the share of Hispanics with a bachelor’s degree or more education increased from 13 percent to 18 percent during this period.
The HLP’s purpose is to identify Hispanic youth with potential for education at the postsecondary level and to give them the skills and motivation necessary to be successful as leaders and in life. The HLP program provides opportunities for Hispanic youth to grow professionally, strengthens each student’s skills, and prepares them to contribute significantly to the workforce.
“We are proud of the impact of this program. It provides a culture that supports the students’ unique heritage while building skills and a network to help them be successful in the workforce and/or university,” said Tará Lopez, dean of the College of Business.
Director of the Southeastern Livingston Center Krystal Hardison said, “With this program, we will provide Hispanic/Latino students with real-world learning experiences, interactions, and opportunities.”
For over 24 years, Southeastern has worked with the Latin American community through the Latin American Business and Development Initiative.
“Every year, Southeastern’s Latin American Business and Development Initiative joins the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month as a symbol of respect for Hispanic culture and diversity,” said LABDI Director Aristides Baraya. “Through this program and others, we show an appreciation of the value of the Hispanic culture by creating programs that help the progress of this community.”
National Hispanic Heritage Month originated in 1968 when Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to issue an annual proclamation designating National Hispanic Heritage Week. Twenty years after Johnson’s proclamation, President Ronald Reagan extended the recognition to the Hispanic community for one month.
Hispanic Heritage Month is dedicated to celebrating the culture and traditions of the Hispanic community and paying tribute to the significant contribution made by people of Hispanic descent, not only in the fields of culture, education, and arts, but also business and science in the U.S.