Photo: LULAC and U.S. Army Reserve
The U.S. Army and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) have renewed their mutual commitment to helping prepare today’s youth to become tomorrow’s leaders. Through its sponsorship of LULAC’s 82nd Annual Convention and Exposition that just concluded in Cincinnati, Ohio – the Army collaborated with LULAC representatives to develop strategies and help prepare U.S. Hispanics – the nation’s fastest growing ethnicity – for personal and professional success.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 56 percent of Hispanic students successfully complete high school. Moreover, while 30 percent of the overall U.S. population over the age of 25 have a post-secondary degree, only 14 percent of Hispanics over 25 graduate from college. These statistics impact the nation’s ability to develop a skilled workforce – particularly in science, technology and engineering – and to remain a competitive global economy.
The Army has a long history of collaborating with community organizations to improve student academic achievement and develop leadership skills. Through programs such as Army Junior ROTC, March2Success, National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program and ROTC, Army helps foster motivation to stay in school, improve test scores and graduation rates and provide tuition assistance for those seeking a college degree.
Throughout the LULAC national convention, Army representatives participated in various activities with youth and civic leaders to highlight the broad range of career and academic resources and options the Army provides. The Army’s exhibit booth at the Career Expo and Job Fair presented information about the more than 150 career paths available within the Army and featured the U.S. Army Latin Ensemble Band and a Drill Sergeant.
Maj. Gen. James McDonald, Commanding General, U.S. Army Cadet Command, addressed convention attendees on the importance of forming partnerships to ensure the educational success of the nation’s youth. The Army offers more scholarships for higher education than any other organization in the U.S., including providing full tuition and monthly stipends for students interested in pursuing medical careers.
The Army’s partnership with LULAC extends beyond its support of the organization’s annual convention and includes continued support of critical youth development programs such as LULAC’s National Education and Service Centers (LNESC) and the Washington Youth Leadership Seminar (WYLS). Through its support of LNESC, the Army provides educational resources and leadership development training to youth at the organization’s locally-based centers across the country.