While the Census results indicate the largest population growth in the United States is being driven by the Hispanic community, research indicates that Hispanic students across the country continue to lag behind their peers in graduation rates, college completion and key areas of academic achievement. Now there is some good news, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, we saw a surge in Hispanic enrollment—an increase of 24% between 2009 and 2010.
To further close the education gap, Univision has made it a priority to empower young Hispanics with the resources they need to make their college aspirations a reality. In February of last year, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, educators, and civic and community leaders from around the country, we launched “Es el momento,” a comprehensive national education initiative aimed at improving academic achievement among K-12 Hispanic students.
To further extend this effort and our commitment to education, on Sunday we kicked off our first ever seven-day call to action effort “¡Edúcate, Es el momento!”
Univision’s “¡Edúcate, Es el momento!” features exclusive programming across Univision Networks’ signature shows and a first-of-its-kind town hall with key leaders airing on October 22. Throughout the week, Univision local TV and radio stations around the country will also broadcast special segments in their newscasts, host workshops, education fairs and phone banks.
On Monday I could not have been more thrilled to visit the set of “Despierta América” to announce that Univision is awarding $300,000 to students around the nation through its new scholarship program “Becas Univision.” Managed by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, this multi-year scholarship program will award scholarships to college-bound students of Hispanic origin who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, have overcome obstacles and are involved in extracurricular activities.
Throughout the week, you’ll see national leaders from across the country also shine a light on higher education. Just some of those participating in Univision-hosted education programming and events throughout the week include U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Melinda Gates, Former HUD Secretary and Univision Board Member Henry Cisneros, Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Miami Dade College President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, and Chairman of the Board for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Raul Romero. I invite you to visit www.eselmomento.com to learn more about the efforts.
It is imperative that our community achieves its potential to continue to drive our country’s competitiveness in a global economy. Working together we can all make a difference. The Moment is Now.