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Hewlett Packard Enterprise honors “Parents of the Year”

Jesse Cortez, Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead at HPE celebrates with "Parents of the Year" and rewards students by donating laptops.Jesse Cortez, Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead at HPE celebrates with "Parents of the Year" and rewards students by donating laptops.

Recently, Hewlett Packard Enterprise assisted in rewarding parents of underserved families and participated in the Parents Step Ahead – a non-profit organization started by Lupita Colmenero, Publisher of the El Hispano News (the oldest such publication in the country) – during the “Parents of the Year Gala” featured in this month’s Latina Style Magazine edition.  To learn more about the organization and their mission, we interview the charismatic founder to learn more about why such focus is important to our diverse and underprivileged youth. 

Q: Lupita, what inspired you to start the Parents Step Ahead organization?

I founded Parents Step Ahead (PSA) in 2006 to address the lack of resources available to parents/underserved families related to the education of their children. Rather than just report alarming statistics about the challenges minority and underprivileged communities face, I created a program “to recognize, educate, enable, and empower parents to take a proactive role in the educational and personal development of their children”.  Parental involvement is essential for educational success and to close the ‘achievement gap’.  PSA focuses on the smallest circle of influence a child has, their family. The organization officially became a nonprofit in 2008.  

Jesse Cortez, HPE Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead with Lupita Colmenero, founder of Parents Step Ahead and publisher of El Hispano NewsJesse Cortez, HPE Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead with Lupita Colmenero, founder of Parents Step Ahead and publisher of El Hispano News

Q: You recently held your “Parents of the Year” Gala.  Tells us about the significance of the event and what it means to your students and parents that participate in the programs?

Every December, PSA hosts their annual Parent of the Year (POY) Awards. All parents that participate in our parent educational programs during the year are eligible to be selected for this recognition.  The process involves school nomination and letter submissions including one from their son/daughter, telling us why mom or dad should be selected. Last year, and thanks to HPE and Jesse Cortez, the children who nominated their parents received a personal laptop computer. For five of the six recipients this was their first laptop. Also, and for the first time too, JC Penney offered complete makeovers and dressed up our honorees and their nominating children from head to toe (including beauty!). Parents and their kids visited the retailer, were greeted by a fashion specialist and helped to select their attires for the evening. This was a very memorable experience for all of them filled with many first – first time to wear a suit, mothers treated like celebrities. They said it opened up their eyes to the endless possibilities that can be made available for their children.

Jesse Cortez, HPE Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead at the Parents Step Ahead , "Parents of the Year Gala"Jesse Cortez, HPE Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead at the Parents Step Ahead , "Parents of the Year Gala"

 Q: Where do you see Parents Step Ahead when you think of its future?

I envision rolling out the program through Title I schools so PSA Parent Educational curriculum can empower parents and let them know the basis on the issues of Financial literacy, Health and Wellness, Education and Technology and Family Communications, so they can take advantage of the opportunities and resources available for them and their children, to build a better future for themselves.

 Q: How can people get involved, if they’d like to contribute to the organization?

Donors can contribute financially, volunteer their time and professional’s skills and join us to serve as speakers at our programs by sharing their life story, their struggles and successes, and serve as role model for our students and parents.   To learn more about the organization, visit www.parentsstepahead.org.

 HPE employees can also donate using through https://hpegives.benevity.org and HPE will match your donation! 

 

About the writer:

Jesse Cortez is the Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead at Hewlett Packard EnterpriseJesse Cortez is the Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead at Hewlett Packard Enterprise

 

Jesse Cortez is the Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, reporting to the Chief Diversity Officer. In his role he is responsible for HPE’s efforts to accelerate Inclusion in the workplace and is charged with creating an environment of Inclusion that allows everyone to succeed and bring their best to HPE.

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