Written by: Monique Delmar
On December 4th 2008 SHPE-NYC held its 3rd annual Holiday Banquet and Toy Drive. Due to the exceptional growth of the chapter, the Con-Edison hosted event was the largest in the history of SHPE-NYC. In attendance were 140 professionals, executives, students, family members and friends. Guests spent the evening socializing, celebrating the holidays and the success of the chapter, as well as eating a hearty meal of pernil and roasted chicken while listening to the thought-provoking words from the evening‘s speakers.
The keynote speaker for the Banquet, Mr. Nick Donofrio, a recently retired Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology at IBM, challenged the rapidly growing Hispanic community to make a difference in this country. He spoke about the growth of the Hispanic population being faster than any other minority population, and how National security and the competitiveness of the United States will be dependent on the expertise of the Hispanic community. Mr. Donofrio‘s message hit home, tying directly into the vision of SHPE; to enhance and achieve the potential of Hispanics in engineering, math and science. In his address to the attendees, SHPE‘s CEO, Mr. Enrique Gomez, stressed the importance of education and how we as professionals need to give back and help others to secure a path towards success.
Overall, the Holiday Banquet and Toy Drive was regarded by all to be a huge success. This year, the number of toys collected doubled to 160 toys. The toys were donated to a group of local children who are part of an afterschool program at Queens Community House, a social service provider dedicated to helping those in need improve their lives and work together to strengthen their communities. Special thanks to everyone who attended and who contributed to making a difference in these children‘s holidays!