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Philadelphia’s Hispanic Star hub set for its “Day of Giving”

The annual event at Drexel University has paired with the nationwide movement to raise money for students impacted by COVID-19.

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Whether you call it 24 hours of impact or the Day of Giving, the annual event at Drexel University brings its alumni, students, parents and faculty together to raise money for a host of university programs from research initiatives to community outreach efforts.

In past years, the amount of money raised has been close to $1 million dollars with a high mark coming in 2019 as more than 5,000 donors raised over $940,000.

This year, the fundraising effort has increased importance amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in a nationwide economic downturn affecting all sectors, with universities  being some of the hardest hit.

One initiative set to receive support as part of Drexel’s 2020 Day of Giving on June 24 is the effort of the Philadelphia hub of We Are All Human’s Hispanic Star campaign.

Led by We Are All Human founder and CEO, Claudia Romo Edelman, the Hispanic Star campaign aims to activate Hispanics across the U.S. against COVID-19 and its health and economic effects.

The effort partners with local organizations in cities across the U.S. to pinpoint local needs and address them with the help of national corporate funding partnering with local efforts.

Philadelphia’s local partner is Drexel University’s chapter of Prospanica and its goal is to raise money to support students affected by COVID-19. The end goal is to raise up to $1,500 to distribute three grants of $500 each to students.

Brandon Cisneros, president and founder of Prospanica Drexel and the leader of the Philadelphia hub of Hispanic Star, said the transition for students and teachers was “rough,” given the abrupt change to class schedules and office hours. 

“We had to get used to the virtual format. Some teachers having synchronous classes, some people having asynchronous… advisers and teachers having different office hours,” said Cisneros.

He also mentioned how many students come to Drexel from around the world and the adjustments often didn’t fit with their time zones.

Drexel’s big draw for many students is its co-op program, which also had many cancellations and reschedulings for students looking to get work experience.

Cisneros said he’s followed the work of Romo Edelman since she was at the UN and saw the Hispanic Star campaign as the perfect opportunity to get more involved.

“When they had their call for hub leaders to step up across the country, so I stepped up for Philadelphia,” he said.

After reaching out to the Hispanic Star team with interest, Cisneros said he went through a short application process before being accepted and meeting with some of the other hub leaders from around the country to brainstorm ideas.

Throughout, he said he’s been able to leverage his local contacts in Philadelphia with national ones from Hispanic Star to help in the effort. 

As the leader of the Philadelphia hub, Cisneros also leads a team of three co-facilitators that help brainstorm ideas. Two are recent graduates of Drexel, while another is a community leader. 

In their minds, the Day of Giving on June 24 is just the beginning of their efforts to aid the Hispanic community through the Hispanic Star campaign. 

“This is a long-term campaign,” said Cisneros.

In addition to getting grants for students, he said there’s potential plans for food and PPE drives in the future.

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