ASBMB supports the Hispanic Educational Resources and Empowerment Act of 2022

April 20, 2022

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology endorses the Hispanic Educational Resources and Empowerment (HERE) Act of 2022, which was introduced April 8, in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, and in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif. The bill, if made law, would authorize $150 million in grants for Hispanic-serving intuitions of higher education and for school districts with high Hispanic and Latino enrollment. 

The HERE Act directs the U.S. Department of Education to award grants to HSIs with competitive applications proposing collaborations with school districts that will increase college attainment by Hispanic and Latino students. 

The awarded institutions will be tasked with creating a college-bound culture among students, improving post-secondary educational preparedness, supporting high-school completion and the college-application process, developing programs to encourage students to pursue teaching as a career, and addressing nonacademic barriers to college enrollment, such as child care and food insecurity. 

HSIs are leaders in successfully educating the most diverse and low-income student population in the nation. They enroll 66% of all Latino undergraduate students and 31% of Pell grant recipients, and they graduate 40% of Hispanic and Latino bachelor’s degree holders in STEM, making them key institutions for producing a more diverse STEM workforce.  

The ASBMB supports this bill because it will help close the college-attainment gap and contribute to the diversification of the STEM workforce by providing essential support to the students at elementary, middle and high schools who will become the teachers, technologists and scientists of tomorrow.