Young Hispanic Professional Association of Austin (YHPA-Austin) will be celebrating their 5th year anniversary at the Mexican-American Cultural Center hosted by Leslie Montoya of Univision’s “Despierta Austin” on Friday, January 28th sponsored by State Farm Insurance & Financial Services. The festivities will include food from Casa Chapala, a silent auction, Mariachi Tamazule, and DJ playing an assortment of Salsa, Cumbia, Tejano, and other dance music.
Proceeds from the evening will benefit the YHPA-Austin Scholarship Fund. In partnership with Hispanic Scholarship Consortium (HSC), four scholarships for this academic year have been awarded. Existing students that have reapplied and kept up their Grade Point Average’s are funded each year they are in school. Through YHPA-Austin’s fundraising efforts, $8,000 in scholarships has been matched since the organization’s existence by HSC and the organization hopes to increase the number of recipients in 2011.
Two new students studying at University of Texas were added in 2010. Nallely Ruiz, majoring in Pre-Nursing, says she feels blessed to be selected this academic year through HSC for the YHPA-Austin scholarship, “Thanks to this scholarship I have been able to become the first person in my family to attend college. I have also gained an amazing support system that I know I can always count on. It’s great to know someone believes in me and is rooting for my success.” Zuleyma Serrano, majoring in Public Affairs Administration and Communication Studies is motivated knowing people cared enough to make contributions to her future. “Individuals who are respected members of society that want to invest in our future: my very own and this country. I’m very grateful for this opportunity and wish many other did the same,” says Serrano.
Through out the years YHPA-Austin members have assisted in various community service events encouraging Hispanic higher education including Feria Para Aprender, Un Sabado Gigante in Engineering, El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), and Bridges to Education (a commitment to mentoring Webb middle school students). The organization has held professional developments for their members and guest on topics ranging from “Subliminal Branding: What’s in It For You?” with speaker Dr. Tina Balderrama Kubicek to panel discussions “Taking your career to the next level” with Dell Executive’s and an attorney. Participating in membership appreciation, social/networking, and fundraiser events is just a few additional benefits of being part of the association.
A charter member and current president of Young Hispanic Professional Association of Austin, Matthew Danner says he is proud to serve as the President of YHPA-Austin because he believes in the mission of the organization. “YHPA-Austin continues to make a positive impact in the Austin area Hispanic community through both scholarship fundraising for area students, and involvement in education-based community service. Our event at the MACC on Friday evening gives us a chance to celebrate our 5th anniversary as an organization while also raising money for our scholarship fund. For more information on the organization and the upcoming event visit www.yhpaa.org
By Monica Pena
Austin Times Staff