My name is Alexa N. Suarez and I am the Founder and President of the H.I.L.L. project. It has always been my dream to help others. During a casual conversation with my family during my Freshman year in High School we discussed the challenges that Hispanic/Latino Americans faced in Education. Being a 1st generation American-Latina I was intrigued and I started doing research. I was alarmed that indeed Hispanic/Latinos were falling behind every other minority group with the exception Native Americans. Below is some of the facts that I discovered during my research:
Hispanic/Latinos lead the country in High School drop-out rate at approximately 10% of all children ages 16-24 (Pew Research).
Hispanic/Latino females have the highest high school drop rate at over 30% of all children ages 16-24 (Census Bureau Statistics).
In a recent survey by the National Education Association, they cited that an appalling 41% of Hispanic/Latino girls will not graduate from their high school class.
......Unacceptable! I decided to get involved.
After collecting all the research and devising the concept, I approached my Honors Spanish II teacher, Ms. Alejandra Elliott, in the Spring of my Freshman year. I had put together a presentation demonstrating all the research and the H.I.L.L. project concept. Enthusiastically, Ms. Elliott agreed to partner with me on the journey and by my academic sponsor. We were now a Service Club of two! We reached out to a particular elementary school in Monroe (Benton Heights Elementary) and presented the H.I.L.L. project to the Principal of the school. This particular elementary school has a demographic of approximately 80% Hispanic/Latino children. The Principal embraced the project and we were off and running!
It's official! On August 31, 2020 The H.I.L.L. Project received its
501(c)(3) status from the IRS and registered as a Non-For Profit organization in the State of North Carolina.
Alexa N. Suarez
At the suggestion of my faculty sponsor, Ms. Alejandra Elliott, I presented The H.I.L.L. Project to her I.B. Spanish students. It is important that the volunteers have a level of Spanish to be able to speak and/or understand the children in the event that their English fluency is lacking in common conversation. Currently, both IB Spanish students and Spanish Honor Society members can volunteer
Our First Day
Our First Day
Our First Day
On Wednesday October 23, 2019 Ms. Elliott, myself and three I.B. Spanish student volunteers from Marvin Ridge H.S. met at Benton Heights elementary to tutor 4 children! And the H.I.L.L. has been there every Wednesday since to help these children strive.