The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) recently offered Lindenwood University-Belleville senior Alex Acuña a scholarship to attend the HACU Student Track leadership development program that’s offered as part of HACU’s 30th Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
“It was a great event to attend because I got to network with other Hispanic students, and also met professionals from GE and Ford, which offered me interviews for internship opportunities,” said Acuña.
According to HACU’s website, the annual conference provides a unique forum for sharing information and ideas for the best and most promising practices in the education of Hispanics. The conference goals are to showcase successful, effective, and exemplary programs and initiatives of HACU member institutions; promote and expand partnerships and strategic alliances for collaboration between HACU member institutions and public-and private-sector organizations; foster and identify graduate education opportunities for Hispanic students and graduates; deliberate policy issues affecting the education opportunities of Hispanics, including HACU’s legislative agenda; promote greater Hispanic participation in scholarships, fellowships, internships, and other such programs funded by private and government organizations; and discuss emerging trends in higher education affecting Hispanics.
“It’s important to me as a Latino student studying in this country to understand so many aspects of higher education and how those might affect other students like me,” said Acuña. “I gained a lot of valuable knowledge being part of the conference and being connected to this organization.”
Acuña, who is from Quito, Ecuador, plays on the varsity soccer team, is a member of the Student Government Association, is president of the Accounting and Finance Club, and was a founding member of the International Student Organization at Lindenwood University-Belleville. He is a finance major and will graduate in spring 2017. Upon graduating from the university, Acuña plans to attend graduate school.
HACU was established in 1986 with a founding membership of 18 institutions. HACU represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain. Although member institutions in the U.S. represent only 10 percent of all higher education institutions nationwide, together they are home to more than two-thirds of all Hispanic college students. HACU is the only national educational association that represents Hispanic-serving institutions.