Today, there are 50.5 million Hispanics living in the United States, sixteen percent of the total population. In 2000, there were only 35.3 million Hispanics in the country, reflecting a growth of 43 percent; a growth four times the rate of the overall population. Of this population, only 12.9 percent of Hispanics graduate from college, compared to 30.7 percent of white and 17.5 percent of black individuals. With such a large portion of America’s population undereducated, not only Hispanics, but America as a whole, will unquestionably fall behind in economic success and future prosperity. La Plaza’s goal is to progress the Hispanic population by encouraging development through education and by a helping community.
La Plaza is the brainchild of Thinkers Inc., a non-profit organization that was created for the sole purpose of developing disadvantaged minorities through education. Powering La Plaza is Dextro, LLC, a consulting, online training, and IT provider with a customer base made up primarily of Hispanics. Comparable to La Plaza’s goal, Dextro places the advancement of Hispanics as a top priority. La Plaza has also joined forces with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics to create a unique online experience aimed at providing valuable resources and networking opportunities for the Hispanic community.
On October 19, 2010, President Obama signed Executive Order 13555, renewing the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. This historic event demonstrated the President’s strong support for the critical role Hispanics play in the overall prosperity of the nation and highlights the Administration’s commitment to expanding education opportunities and improving education outcomes for all students. During this event President Obama said the following regarding the Hispanic community:
“Our country was built on and continues to thrive on its diversity. There is no doubt that the future of the United States is inextricable linked to the future of the Hispanic community.”
With this premise in mind, La Plaza was born. It is La Plaza’s goal to be a one-stop resource for the Hispanic community. La Plaza is a space where friends can catch up, professionals can network, and ideas can be heard. Given its unique connection to the White House, users of La Plaza will have a direct link to top decision makers regarding programs, policies, and new ideas to implement within the United States.
Beyond the White House, La Plaza is a community where thousands of organizations with the goal of Hispanic advancement can share best practices; spread the word regarding initiatives and scholarships; listen to the needs of the community; and serve as a resource for users. La Plaza also allows users to post and find career and volunteer opportunities and provides a wealth of open source training materials to assist in professional advancement.