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Friday, October 15, 2010

Draper Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Draper Laboratory celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with promotional development activities for its employees, educational outreach to students, and events that highlighted Latino contributions to U.S. culture.

Draper’s celebrated Mes Latino, which ran from Sept. 15 to Oct.15, in coordination with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory.

Activities at Draper included a presentation from Conexion, a mentorship program for professionals that was founded in Cambridge. The presentation, which focused on using mentoring to prepare Latinos in mid-career positions for executive roles, was attended by Draper employees, including those from the Lab’s mentoring task force and Human Resources department.

Draper employees also reached out to local schools and universities with high Latino enrollment. Valerie Avila, a senior integration and test engineer, led a career panel at Chelsea High School, while Antonio de la Serna, a digital design engineer, spoke at Lowell High School to promote engineering education and careers and at the Spirit of Knowledge Charter School in Worcester, which has a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

At its Cambridge headquarters, Draper also displayed information on posters and monitors about the heritage of Latino countries as well as prominent American, European, and Caribbean figures with Hispanic backgrounds; and featured Latin-themed menus and music and dancing in its cafeteria.

The events were planned by a group coordinated by Andrea Ruano, an electronics and production test development engineer, and de la Serna.

“As a Latina and new Draper employee, my involvement with Mes Latino has made me proud to be a part of this community,” Ruano said.

Previous month-long celebrations were held at Draper in 2010 for Black History, Women’s History, Gay Pride, and Asian Pacific History.

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