Monthly Webinar Resources

In late October 2013, the Initiative launched its monthly webinar series. Each webinar will aim to connect national and local leaders, while highlighting Bright Spots, throughout the nation, to discuss federal programs and initiatives, relevant policy issues and evidence-based practices that are benefiting the Hispanic community.

Each webinar will use a simple one-hour format with the utilization of a PowerPoint presentation.

Invitations for each webinars will be sent via email. Please be sure you have signed up for our email distribution list here.

February Webinar – GED Test

  • Summary: Nicole Chestang, Vice President and Chief Strategist, College and Career Success, American Council on Education, provided a run-through of the revised GED Test, one of the ways students can obtain high school equivalent credentials. In addition, she provided links on resources for test-takers and educators. Afterwards, President Andrew Sund of St. Augustine College, abilingual (dual-language) institution of higher education in Chicago, IL, created under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese to make the American system of higher education accessible to a diverse student population with emphasis on those of Hispanic descent; to strengthen ethnic identity; to reinforce cultural interaction; and to build a bridge to fill cultural, educational, and socio-economic gaps discussed his college’s GED program, providing programmatic details and shared results from the program’s exit tests. This was followed by an engaging conversation between the speakers and participants. This was the first of a special series on high school equivalency exams now available.
  • Resources: GED Test Webinar Slides MS PowerPoint [5MB] | PDF [1MB]; Audio Transcript [118KB]; Audio File [8MB]


January Webinar  - Student Financial Assistance

  • Summary: Wendy Bhagat, Director, Awareness & Outreach Group, Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education, provided a run-through of the U.S. Department of Education’s recently launched financial aid toolkit ( Afterwards, Claire Dennison, Vice President, uAspire, and Elsa Martinez-Pimentel, Assistant Director, Eastern Massachusetts, uAspire, discussed the mission and programs of their organization, ensuring that all young people have the financial information and resources necessary to find an affordable path to and through a postsecondary education, and provided tips on working with Hispanic students. This was followed by a conversation between the speakers and participants.
  • Resources: Student Financial Assistance Webinar [PDF, 1.0MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 104KB]; Audio File [MP3, 9.0MB]


December Webinar – Family Engagement

  • Summary: The webinar on family engagement featured two bright spots facilitating and encouraging strong engagement between families and their children’s schools – WestEd and Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA). Maria Paredes, Senior Program Associate at WestEd, shared her research and experience with the Academic Parent-Teacher Teams (based in Arizona). Then, Aurelio Montemayor, Senior Education Associate at IDRA provided an overview of the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) Comunitario based in South Texas. IDRA has been supported over the past five years. Lourdes Flores shared her experience as a parent leader in the program.
  • Resources: Family Engagement Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.7MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 106KB]; Audio File [MP3, 8.7MB]

November Webinar -  Immigrant Integration

  • Summary: Debra Suarez, English Language Learning Education Specialist, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education, provided an overview on the challenges immigrants face in America and discussed Networks for Integrating New Americans (NINA). During the second half of the webinar, Deputy Director of Welcoming America, Rachel Steinhardt, discussed the mission and programs of her organization, highlighting ways to make local communities welcome to immigrant populations. This was followed by a conversation between the speakers and participants.
  • Resources: Immigrant Integration Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.22MB]; Audio Transcript [PDF, 185KB]

October Webinar - The inaugural policy webinar centered on early learning and Hispanic children.

  • Summary: Steven Hicks, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Early Learning, U.S. Department of Education, and Yvette Sanchez, Director, Office of Head Start, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provided an overview on the importance of early care and learning and discussed the President’s Preschool for All proposal. During the second half of the webinar, National Program Director of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors, Sandra Gutierrez, discussed the mission and programs of her organization, emphasizing the critical piece families play in their children’s development and educational career. This was followed by a conversation between the speakers and participants.
  • Resources: Early Learning Webinar Slides [PDF, 1.16MB]; Audio File [MP3]


Topic Suggestions: Suggestions for future topics and presenters should be sent to


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