For over 35 years, SHPE, Inc. has been dedicated to increasing the number of Hispanics in STEM. Today, SHPE is comprised of a national network of 348 Student and Professional Chapters in seven regions. Each year, SHPE coordinates the largest Hispanic technical conference in the U.S., bringing together 7,000 Hispanic university students, 2,000 STEM professionals, and more than 500 middle and high school students. Over 300 corporate and government agencies attend the conference to recruit talent for paid internships and full-time positions.
In 2003, in order to address the concern about the lack of Hispanic STEM talent in the career pipeline, SHPE established a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. The initial goal of the SHPE Foundation was to meet the growing financial need of Hispanic youth in order to pursue higher education in STEM. The SHPE Foundation recognized early in its formation that it could have an even greater impact on Hispanic youth by offering educational programs through SHPE Chapters. The SHPE Foundation’s current focus is to inspire Hispanic youth to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
SHPE Foundation programs are conducted in cooperation with reputable academic institutions Oregon State University, Wichita State University, Cornell University, Penn State University, and many others across the country. The Foundation also partners with federal agencies to expose students to career opportunities and the technical knowledge necessary to succeed. Funding for the SHPE Foundation is derived from various federal, state and local grants as well as donor support and corporate partnerships.
Recognizing the growth patterns of the Hispanic population over the past eight years, the SHPE Foundation has established broad-based educational enrichment, recruitment and retention programs throughout the country. The SHPE Foundation has directed, developed and promoted a number of opportunities for formal science education, educational enrichment and college awareness. A major focus of the SHPE Foundation’s STEM educational activities has been in locations with fast-growing Hispanic communities ripe for nurturing a pipeline of future engineers and technical innovators. This has been bolstered by a successful scholarship program and the support of SHPE Chapters and partner organizations.