Dreaming Big

Dreaming Big: A Chat with Jordy Padilla

8:30 am on Friday, November 21, 2014 (during breakfast)

Omni New Haven Hotel Ballroom

Patricia Melton, Executive Director, New Haven Promise

Jordy Padilla, Class of 2015, University of New Haven

The wave of the future is here. The number of Hispanic public-school students in so many cities along the East Coast — like New York, Boston and Newark — has recently topped 40 percent. Other cities — such as Providence, R.I.; Springfield, Mass.; Elizabeth, N.J.; and Allentown, Pa. — have public student bodies which are roughly two-thirds Hispanic students.

Jordy Padilla is representative of today’s student. He came to the U.S. from Ecuador as a seven-year-old. As a ‘Dreamer’ he simply had to make a “way” out of “no way,” which is what the Promise movement is all about for students who are under-funded and under-prepared. Padilla was fortunate to have landed in New Haven, a city which has been issuing — for seven years — municipal identification cards designed to benefit undocumented immigrants. When New Haven Promise was announced it was intended to incentivize and encourage all students.

Padilla has done everything asked of him. Unable to qualify for federal aid, he has had to work to pay for his education. His father has contributed handsomely. And as an engineering student who was under-prepared at the start, his academic commitment was more intensive than most. But when he graduates from the University of New Haven in the spring, he join The Walsh Group, working on the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge on I-95 in New Haven.

Patricia Melton will facilitate a chat with Padilla that will talk about his journey, his champions and the opportunity that the Promise movement provides for students from every background.

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