Creating Pathways for Success: Reflections from the Inaugural HSI Summit 2024

Elevate Your Leadership with Our Blog Insights.

Harness the potential of our blog content for your leadership development or keynote speaking needs.


Request Speaking Appearance

A Beacon of Opportunity and Inclusivity

The first-ever Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) Summit 2024, orchestrated by Migdalia Gonzalez, the FAA’s Hispanic Employee Program Manager, has set a precedent for what collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity can achieve in the realms of education and professional development. This groundbreaking event showcased the pivotal role of HSIs in nurturing talent within the Hispanic community and spotlighted the invaluable partnerships forming between educational institutions, government agencies, and the private sector. The Summit was held in the Bessie B. Coleman room, paying homage to a significant figure in aviation history. Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman and the first Native American to earn a pilot’s license.

Among the distinguished speakers, Victor Cora Nazario, COO of the SOAR Community Network (SOAR), Mali Phonpadith, CEO of SOAR, and Lucy Cora Nazario, CEO of Take Flight, led an inspiring panel titled “Thinking Outside the Box.” Their discussion delved into pioneering Special Education improvement programs and the Leadership Development/Virtuous Engineer program for universities, highlighting the essential bridge between education and industry to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the future.


Bridging the Gap for a Diverse Future

A key highlight of the summit was the emphasis on paid internship programs offered by participating agencies. These programs mark a significant step towards inclusivity, ensuring that students from all backgrounds, including those with different abilities and neurodiverse individuals, have equitable access to opportunities through initiatives like the Schedule A program. This federal employment program eases the process for candidates with disabilities, showcasing a commitment to a workforce that truly reflects the diversity of our society.

Moreover, the summit underscored the importance of extending these collaborative efforts beyond universities to partner with high schools. This approach ensures that students are introduced to a myriad of career paths and educational resources early on, paving the way for informed and inspired future generations.

A Unified Vision for Inclusion and Success

The participation of leaders and representatives from various sectors, including FAA’s Michael Whitaker and Dr. Viveca Pavon-Harr of Accenture Federal Services, reinforced the collective commitment to nurturing the next generation of Hispanic leaders. Their insights and the shared experiences of all participants illuminate the path forward in creating a more inclusive, diverse, and dynamic professional landscape.

The summit’s focus on connecting HSIs with pivotal government and private sector entities reflects a broader vision: to build a future where every student has the support, resources, and opportunities to thrive. By highlighting successful initiatives and fostering ongoing dialogue, the summit has laid a foundation for enduring partnerships and impactful programs.

Looking Ahead: A Call to Action for Future Summits

As we reflect on the success of the HSI Summit 2024, it’s clear that the journey toward inclusivity and diversity in education and the workforce is ongoing. The discussions initiated here and the partnerships formed set a course for continued innovation and collaboration.

Sharing this article, we aim to inspire our clients and partners with the insights and initiatives from the summit. Our collective mission to create compassionate leaders, cohesive teams, and collaborative cultures is more relevant than ever in today’s diverse workplaces and world.

The 2024 HSI Summit is not just a milestone but a call to action for all of us committed to advancing diversity, inclusion, and success for the next generation of leaders. Together, we can build pathways that not only illuminate potential but ensure that every step taken is one toward a brighter, more inclusive future.