America will continue losing its competitive edge unless we increase the number of students graduating from high school, entering college, and pursuing a STEM (science,technology, engineering and math)-based career.

The gap is growing

With STEM jobs growing at three times the rate of other jobs and only one in five STEM workers born in the U.S., I propose we look to young American Latinos to move America forward as a global leader again.

By joining LOFT’s network, Latino students will be connected to experienced professionals and serve as peer role models and mentors to one another.

Educating our youth is critical. The dilemma is Latinos are graduating from high school at just-over 50 percent and only 9 percent of Hispanic freshman in high school today will end up graduating from college.

Overcoming obstacles

Latinos who beat the odds in education must inspire,encourage and support other Hispanics to achieve. With that in mind, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) has developed a unique and effective continuum in the STEM fields through the Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) leadership and workforce development program.

By joining LOFT’s network, Latino students will be connected to experienced professionals and serve as peer role models and mentors to one another.

This supportive connectivity is crucial for Latinos, especially in STEM fields. And there is no shortage of talent with 75,000 members of the LOFT Network.