Prepárate 2024

Highlights: Prepárate 2024

On April 24–26, educators across the country met in Austin, Texas, for the 2024 Prepárate™ Conference. The three-day gathering, held at the Austin Marriott Downtown, centered on preparing Latino students for the future of America. Here are this year’s highlights: 


1,000+ Attendees

Attendees at Prepárate got the opportunity to hear from renowned Latino trailblazers, network with fellow educators, and learn how to support and celebrate Latino student successes. Almost 80% of attendees came from K−12 schools and districts, while the remaining attendees came from higher education and other institutions. 

Attendees at Prepárate 2024


150 Speakers 

Prepárate gave several educators a platform to present strategies that address the unique cultural and ethnic needs of Latino students. This year’s conference featured 3 plenary sessions, 50+ concurrent presentations and panels, and various networking opportunities—including the Charla/Chat Lunch and Conexiones Reception. 


Astronaut and Engineer José Hernández 

He tilled the soil then reached for the stars. José Hernández—founder and CEO of Tierra Luna Engineering, former NASA astronaut, and inspiration for the 2023 biographical film A Million Miles Away—inspired us by sharing his journey from farm worker to space traveler. He also discussed the crucial role of Latino representation in STEM. The plenary session was moderated by Michelle Cruz Arnold, vice president of government relations and advocacy at College Board. 


Modelo de la Comunidad Award Recipient: Dr. Adelina S. Silva 

Modelo de la Comunidad is an award presented to individuals and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding leadership and are committed to improving the Latino community. This year’s award was presented to Dr. Adelina S. Silva, vice chancellor for student success for the Alamo Colleges District. Dr. Silva is an internationally recognized advocate for student development, advising, and equity. 


Excelencia in Education: CEO Deborah A. Santiago 

Deborah A. Santiago is the cofounder and CEO of Excelencia in Education, an organization committed to accelerating Latino student success in higher education. She shared insights on the organization's mission to offer research that facilitates institutional and policy reforms while also nurturing a network of leaders dedicated to achieving tangible results. The plenary session was moderated by Magdalena Hinojosa, senior vice president for strategic enrollment and student affairs at the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley. 


Interactive Booths at Multiple Learning Centrals 

Learning Centrals allowed attendees to get face-to-face with select College Board programs. Educators had a chance to ask questions and speak directly to staff from BigFuture®, AP® African American Studies, the digital SAT®, and Advocacy and Access Communities. 


Cultural Performances that Celebrated Heritage 

Throughout the three days of learning and networking, cultural performances were woven into the conference. Prepárate opened with Mariachi Paredes de Tejastitlán, an advanced ensemble from the University of Texas at Austin led by musicology and ethnomusicology lecturer Dr. José R. Torres-Ramos. 

At the Conexiones Reception, attendees networked (and even danced) to the sounds of Superfónicos Afro Colombian Funk, whose music is inspired by the Indigenous and African roots of the band’s Colombian heritage. 

Prepárate concluded with a cultural performance by dance troupe Tusuy Sonqo-Perù and folk band Somos Perù, whose works captured the rich Peruvian culture through both music and the representative dances of the coast, mountains, and jungle. The performance vibrantly celebrated Peruvian diversity, highlighting the different regions of Peru through song and dance.