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LOFT STEM Leadership Symposium | Chicago, Illinois

Isla Martinez

Marketing and PR Coordinator

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) hosted two Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT) Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) Leadership Symposia back to back on Tuesday, October 16th and Wednesday, October 17th at the University of Illinois Chicago, sponsored by the U.S. Army.

The LOFT STEM Leadership Symposium is a free leadership and workforce development program sponsored by the Army that provides career-path guidance, educational opportunities and connectivity for students and young professionals in the STEM fields.

Students at the Symposium were eager to learn more about leadership, including what leadership is and how they can be leaders in their everyday high school careers. Following the leadership presentation presented by Mr. Ruben DelValle, CEO/ Founder UAV Systems Development Corporation, the students networked with students from other local Chicago high schools and networked with speakers and the U.S. Army.

Speakers included Jacqueline Martinez, Co-Founder of Netwings Corp., Jasmine Shells, Founder of Five to Nine, Julianna Ceja, Program Manager at Amazon, Randy Rivera, Senior Vice President of BBVA Compass, Ruben DelValle, CEO/Founder UAV Systems Development Corporation, Carlos Castro Herrera, Software Engineer at Google and Jessica Herrera, Development Coordinator at HHF. All speakers gave students insight on their personal background, their high school and college careers, highlights throughout their career and tips/advice on what they can do moving forward.

The Hacking a Career in STEM segment also had the students thinking about new ways that they can continue on their path to successful careers after they have graduated high school.  HHF and the U.S. Army thank all the students, teachers, speakers, faculty at UIC and volunteers who contributed to the success of the Symposium.

HHF continues to bring new programs across the country to provide students with the opportunity to learn more about internship opportunities, fellowships, career guidance and more all through our LOFT Network.Youth and other professionals connected to our LOFT program are then given access to year-long LOFT Innovation Workforce Development programs including Innovation Fellowships, Youth Awards and other work-based learning opportunities. Learn more about our LOFT STEM Symposia in Los Angeles, Miami, and Austin!