2019 CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS 2019-12-16T21:24:52+00:00

Keynote Speakers

Headshot of Dr. Adolph Brown

Dr. Adolph Brown, III

Dr. Adolph Brown, III is an American urban and rural school educator, author, research-scientist, businessman and keynote speaker. He is a servant-leader at heart and provides powerful, universal and timeless teachings. Brown is best known for inspiring all who hear him to learn, laugh and lead, while simultaneously reducing implicit bias at every turn. He is highly regarded as the leadership speaker who gets you from where you are to where you want to be. As a much sought-after and highly effective equity and diversity keynote speaker, Brown skillfully addresses the impact of stereotypes. He credits much of his success to the luxury of humble beginnings of being reared by a single parent mother in abject poverty of the inner city housing projects infested with gangs, drugs and violence. His oldest sibling and only brother Oscar was murdered when he was eleven years old. Young Brown often received a respite when he was sent to spend summers with his grandfather in rural farming country. Brown became the first in his family of five to participate in Head Start, graduate high school and attend college.

All Means All: Cultivating Inclusion and Inspiring Equity
Blind spots and implicit biases are hidden forces that shape our opinions, attitudes, perceptions and decisions about others. This interactive dynamic and fun presentation will address the shortcuts that create our mental blind spots. Brown provides motivation and knowledge that will help attendees remain focused, motivated and inspired to overcome faulty personal beliefs, prior expectations and anchors. Brown works at the development and maintenance of safe spaces cultivating respect, acceptance and support for ALL.


Headshot José HernándezJosé Hernández

José Hernández, a former migrant farmworker, was selected by NASA as a member of their 19th class of astronauts in 2004. After completing his training he was selected for a mission in 2007 and flew as the flight engineer in the 2009 14-day STS-128 mission aboard Space Shuttle Discovery to the international space station. In addition to his flight engineer duties, Hernández was also one of two principal robotic arm operators and the first to tweet in English and Spanish from space. Before being selected as an astronaut, Hernández worked at NASA as the branch chief of the Materials and Processes Branch at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. There he oversaw the branch’s activities in the areas of materials and processes, fracture control, nondestructive evaluation, failure analysis, and nanomaterials research. Hernández branch was also instrumental in participating in the investigation to help find the root cause of the Space Shuttle Columbia accident and reporting those results to the President’s Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

After the 2009 Space Mission, Hernández was assigned to work at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C. where he served as a legislative analyst and helped in the development of space policy, NASA’s annual budget package and served as liaison with key Congressional members. Additional duties included the development of an effective strategy that promoted the President’s new vision on Space Exploration. Hernández is a former candidate for U.S. Congress, author of several books including his autobiography “Reaching for the Stars” and the children’s version “The Boy Who Touched the Stars”.

Today, Hernández works as a consultant for Tierra Luna Engineering, which he founded in 2012. Here, he provides his expertise in business development and strategic operations to help clients develop optimum growth solutions through an integrated approach. He focuses these efforts on companies involved in aerospace technologies and renewable energies.

Hernández has been the recipient of numerous awards. NASA Service Awards in 2002 and 2003; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory “Outstanding Engineer Award” in 2001; Upward Bound National TRIO Achiever Award in 2001; U.S. Department of Energy “Outstanding Performance Commendation” in 2000; Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) “Medalla de Oro” recipient for professional and community contributions in 1999; Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award, “Outstanding Technical Contribution” in 1995. Finally, Hernández has been awarded seven honorary doctorate degrees including his alma mater, University of the Pacific.

Reaching for Your Own Stars: A Recipe to Succeed In Life
Jose Hernandez’s presentation is an effective motivational talk where individuals leave so inspired, they re-evaluate and upgrade their personal and professional goals in life, by empowering attendees through his anecdotal stories of hard work and perseverance. He shares a simple yet effective recipe that serves as an effective tool in the empowerment process.


Students Artwork

We celebrate peoples differences

We Celebrate People’s Differences

Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania, Project Area 2, Summer Camp 2018

This was an artwork made by the MEP students who attended our summer camp at William Allen High School in Allentown, PA (SD partner).
All students received a paper with a blank face to express themselves through colors and shapes. The only instruction given to the students was to color something that tells a story. (“Images Make Stories” was one of our special projects this summer in collaboration with the art professor from Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, Dr. Jill Odegard, and our art teacher, Mr. Angel Suarez).

Different peoples faces

To the right is a sample of the paper drawings that we displayed in the school halls. There was a contest and the students selected the best ones. We asked the selected students to do the faces again, but this time on a canvas. On the day of the artwork, one student from The Congo showed up for the first time to our camp. She requested a space to put her face on the canvas. It was the one that shows right in the middle of the artwork. To tell you the truth, I was expecting something beautiful from her country. I walked toward her (No artist wants to be interrupted or questioned while working) and asked, “Why the U.S. FLAG?”

Her Answer
“I am from Africa, but this is my country, now. America is my home. We left nothing behind. I look forward to a brighter future for me and my family. This is now my flag.”

Our Story to Tell
Every single face you see here, tells a story. These are the faces of the children from our migrant families. Families from Pakistan, Syria, Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America – They are all different and amazingly beautiful, and we celebrate that.


Stand tall stand proud; migrant giraffe

Stand Tall, Stand Proud. Migrant Giraffe.

Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania, Project Area 2, Summer Camp 2018

Pictured to the right is one of our students from Africa. She knows she is different! She does not speak or understand English very well. She attended our summer camp and was in the high school classroom. Most of the time, she was by herself because she does not speak Spanish like the majority of the children in the camp program. But, she showed everybody how to tell her story. She was always holding a big smile. A migrant student standing tall and proud of who she is and where she comes from.

Stand tall stand proud. Migrant giraffe in progress

Our high school classroom was well equipped with technology provided by the MEP. They had access to computers, the internet and printers. Guided by their teacher, the students worked on expository essays based on researches about migrant workers in the USA (telling their stories). Some of the articles were collected and glued to the giraffe (they show through the image).

Their Story
No matter where you come from and what your job is, be proud, be proactive, and always think win-win. (Our students were working with the seven leadership habits based on “The Leader in Me” curriculum).

Our Story
Only migrant workers can do this job! No machine can collect strawberries…


United we learn

Tree of Unity

Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Project Area 4, Summer Camp 2018

The art project for Lancaster Pennsylvania Migrant Summer Campus was to depict the lives of different cultures and ethnicities coming together under the same goal of learning together and being unified in their differences. The flags represent the various countries that were in our Lancaster program at
Martin Elementary School in Lancaster County. The tree is symbolic of bringing them all together in one location. The people reading books represents the academic focus of our program and that education is the key to success.

This was done by students in various grades each taking part in its creation.

The mural depicts the reality of our Migrant Education Program in serving many different ethnic groups in our summer campus programs. Classrooms were quite diversified and “charged with positive vibes” as students from different cultures learned together. The mural was created in the art classroom, with students on many grade levels.


Making a positive impact on the world

Making a Positive Impact on Our World and the Face of Migration

Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania, Project Area 2, Summer Camp 2018

Making a Positive Impact on Our World
This was our theme for this year’s summer camp 2018. We have chosen butterflies because they are beautiful, they migrate and because they are necessary for agriculture, especially these days when organic food is gaining importance due to the role it plays in human health.

All migrant workers play a very important role in this country’s agriculture. They all make a very strong impact on the food we bring to our tables.

The face of migrationThe Face of Migration
Here in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, we have a great variety of ethnicities in our program. While our population is mostly Hispanic (represented by the orange Monarch butterflies), we also have students from about 13 other ethnics (represented in all other colors). Once we house them in our program, we learn that they are all one big face. A face in motion, a face with changes, a face that sometimes gets hurt and rebuilds itself (that is why some butterflies are broken).

Every butterfly was painted by one student attending the summer camp. They were selected by teachers and the students were instructed to glue the butterfly on the Migrant Face. They are part of a story that moves this country forward.