Columbian superstar Shakira is now involved in the commission towards helping the White House initiative on educational excellence for Hispanics.
On October 7, Shakira made a speech in the White House swearing-in ceremony.
She said in her intro of the ceremony, “Being here today is a tremendous honor for me. I am thankful to President Obama and I am hobbled that my philanthropic experience could be helpful in some measure and can be used to amplify the message and work of the President and this Commission.”
Shakira has been involved with the education of Latino children for 15 years now. She began her foundation Pies Descalzos in 1997 and since then founded two school in Barranquilla, Colombia- Escuela Las Americas and Escuela Siete de Abril, which provide services to more than 900 kids.
Latinos are the fastest-growing group in the United States. More Latino children are living in poverty than children of any other ethnic group. “For a number of reasons, young Latinos in this country disproportionately drop out of school and far too few finish college,” said Shakira. “And as I have seen in my own foundation’s work, the only road out of poverty is education – of that I am convinced.”
She also is working to promote the creation of more Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs. Shakira’s main focus is to educate children in pre-K and kindergarten. Shakira believes that with more ECD programs there will be less Latino student dropouts and less crime involving children. She believes that if children are in ECD programs, they will be more productive to society.
“It’s proven that most Latino Kids who drop out of school and perform poorly in high school didn’t have access to an early childhood education and lacked essential attention, stimulation and nutrition during the first 6 years of their lives,” said Shakira.
The Obama administration has made a point to improve Latino education. Shakira is extremely passionate about working with the White House. She will be working to plan an early childhood education summit in the coming year.
Shakira concluded her speech by pointing out the dependency the country will have due to the population of Latinos in the future. “Latinos are the largest minority group in this country and as the Latino population grows, the U.S. economy becomes more and more dependent on its success. Americans must better understand the impact that the growing Latino population is having on the way we live today and on this nation’s future. Inevitably this country and its economic prosperity will also largely depend on our Hispanic kids.”
By Oswaldo Campos-Torres