Hispanic Americans Target Education As a Top Priority in 2010
As a result of the ongoing economic uncertainty, many Hispanic Americans are placing a new emphasis on what is important to them and their families. A new survey by Sears Holdings finds that although a majority (84%) of Hispanic Americans report that education will be a priority in 2010, most (92%) believe that there are barriers standing in the way of receiving an education beyond high school, with close to three-quarters (71%) citing lack of money to cover school expenses as the biggest roadblock.
Among those respondents who believe there are barriers to receiving a higher education, more than half (53%) attribute a lack of information about the opportunities and options available as an obstacle. Also weighing in as a hurdle for many Hispanics is the need to work and support the family right after high school (60%).
Yet, even with these bumps in the road, more than two in three (67%) of Hispanic Americans believe education in their community has become more important than it was 10 years ago. More than nine in 10 (93%) feel that the importance of education has increased because of the economic landscape.
In fall 2009, considering the needs of the Hispanic community it serves, Sears Holdings launched the PRIMERO Hispanic Heritage Scholarship(SM) program and bilingual, social networking education Web site in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The program was developed to reward those who were first in their family to attend college, as well as those continuing the family’s tradition of attaining a higher education. In addition to providing details on the scholarship, the PRIMERO Hispanic Heritage Scholarship(SM) Web site offered information and facilitated conversation among students and their parents about the college planning process. The overwhelming response to the PRIMERO Hispanic Heritage Scholarship(SM) program incited further research into the needs of the Hispanic-American members of the Sears Holdings community.
“The recent research findings reaffirm our commitment to offering programs that add value to our culturally diverse communities and customer base,” said Bruce Johnson, interim chief executive officer, Sears Holdings. “We look forward to providing resources that support and ultimately improve the lives of the community we serve.”