Growing our Community Programs
During the first half of 2017, Hispanic Federation has focused on expanding its programs to meet the needs of its growing community. Here’s are just some examples of what we have accomplished together:
Getting Latino students into the labor force requires effort on the part of employers, colleges and universities and community-based organizations. In May, HF partnered with LaGuardia Community College and members of the New York City Council to host a Career Development Expo for residents throughout NYC. Our goal for the Expo was to connect over 250 individuals to actual jobs and skill building training programs and resources. At day’s end, we had provided services to over 350 people. What’s more, the feedback from exhibitors, attendees and partners was so positive that our partners are interested in making this an annual event. We can’t wait to do it again!
Of course, our interest in education and career development extends far beyond New York City. Our CREAR Futuros program is a national model of Latino student engagement and success. As part of our continuing work in improving educational attainment rates for Latinos, earlier this year we received the green light to take CREAR Futuros to Rhode Island. Starting with the fall 2017 semester, Hispanic Federation will be offering support to Latino students at Rhode Island College, the state’s oldest public institution of higher learning. That means that students will be able to take advantage of proven place-based supports to help boost their GPA, retention, course completion, and graduation rates.
Keeping our community healthy, especially in the face of chronic health conditions, is also something we're deeply committed to. With that goal in mind, earlier this year we began the first in a series of comprehensive Latino Health Fairs that address conditions that disproportionately affect the Hispanic community, such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, depression, HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, as well as obesity. The first event took place in New York City in June under the banner of Get Up, Get Moving and helped provide more than a thousand individuals with free health education and screenings. The second health fair just took place in St. Louis, Missouri on August 19th. Additional health fairs will take place in Richmond, VA; Boston, MA; Orlando, FL; Passaic, NJ; and Long Island, New York.
Our longstanding commitment to immigrants’ rights also expanded this year. Our new Legal Defense Project (LDP) is a $2 million dollar campaign made possible thanks to the leadership of New York State Governor Cuomo, Senator Jeff Klein, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and others. This groundbreaking project will support several initiatives to serve the most vulnerable immigrant populations in New York State. The LDP will accomplish this goal through a variety of targeted services, including legal defense, impact litigation, workshops, classes, application assistance, academic counseling, social services, a dedicated immigration hotline, and public education campaigns. The work will be executed through an expansion of HF's signature programs - Hispanic Immigrant Integration Project (HIIP), Immigrant Education Advocates (IEA), and Latino Immigrant Rapid Response Initiative (LIRRI) - as well as through partnerships with trusted immigrant organizations.
This year, we have also grown our Movimiento Hispano civic engagement work in New York City to ensure our community is ready to participate in the upcoming Mayoral and City Council races. Nearly 9,000 Latino New Yorkers have been registered to date through efforts and we expect to register more than 20,000 new voters before this year’s elections.
Naturally, none of this expanded work would be possible without the addition of new, dynamic staff. In the first half of 2017, Hispanic Federation has been fortunate to add seven new staff members to our team. These new additions will allow us to continue providing services to our member agencies, strengthening existing programs, and supporting our expansion initiatives.