To mark the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, Wells Fargo and Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) are announcing an expansion of their long-term alliance.
This year, Wells Fargo and HSF have provided scholarships to 172 students and are preparing to host a series of student financing education summits for students and their parents. The kick off – the HSF Student Leadership Conference – will be held today in San Francisco at Wells Fargo’s headquarters building at 420 Montgomery Street. Other HSF events will be held throughout the next several months in the following cities: Miami, New York, Newark, N.J., Los Angeles, Reno and Las Vegas.
During the two-day HSF Student Leadership Conference, Wells Fargo and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund will focus on empowering Hispanic student participants with the skills they need to serve as ambassadors to their fellow students when they return to their college campuses. Students from each of the 37 HSF national scholar chapters will engage in team building activities and sessions focused on leadership, communication skill development, debt management, how to excel in college and how to start a successful career.
In October, Wells Fargo will sponsor the 2011 HSF Education Summit and Alumni Hall of Fame Gala in New York City. This year’s education summit will feature a panel of foundation, corporate, federal and state education leaders who will discuss the issues facing Hispanic families in college attainment.
“Achieving a college education holds special importance for Hispanic parents and students,” said Frank D. Alvarez, president and CEO, Hispanic Scholarship Fund. “We’re grateful to our sponsor, Wells Fargo, for sharing our commitment to the continued success of the Hispanic community.”
According to a 2010 poll conducted by The Nielsen Company and Stanford University, some 87 percent of Hispanics believe that a college education is extremely important, while 94 percent report that they expect their children to go to college. However, this enthusiasm rarely comes to fruition. The poll shows that only 13 percent of Hispanics in the U.S. have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the lowest rate for any ethnic group. (See Figure 1.)
Through the end of the year and early 2012, HSF and Wells Fargo will host Steps for Success programs in Newark, N.J., Los Angeles, Reno, Nev., Las Vegas and Miami. Steps for Success is a college preparation workshop designed for middle and high school students and their parents that includes information on how to prepare and pay for higher education.
Wells Fargo and the Wells Fargo Foundation have supported HSF for more than 10 years, and since 2009 have provided $2.3 million in total support for the organization. That same year, Wells Fargo pledged a $500,000 annual commitment to HSF in support of scholarship funding through 2012 – a total of $1.5 million in scholarships for students. This year, Wells Fargo expanded its role and financial commitment by $300,000 resulting in the new initiatives being executed beginning today through early next year.