by Paul Zollo
|Latin pop sensation Jon Secada has been appointed to a Presidential Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans. “The President said that he would leave no student behind,” the BMI songwriter stated during an interview from his Miami home, “and he meant it. He is dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for all students in this country.”|
The function of the Commission, which includes astronaut Fernando Caldeiro along with 16 other Latino leaders, is to form an action plan intended to abolish the educational achievement gap between Hispanic students and their peers. It will spotlight role models in the Latin community, such as Secada, as well as community leaders, business leaders, educators and public officials. Advice and information about how best to achieve maximal results will be gathered from town meetings held in Hispanic communities around the country, and compiled into an official report for the President.
Secada, a Grammy winner who has sold nearly 20 million albums worldwide, expressed pride in the appointment, and a determination to do everything in his power to address the educational needs of Latino students throughout the country. A native of Havana who moved to Miami at the age of nine, he stressed that the state of the American public education system is in dire straits. “Statistics show that the rate of graduation in our schools is getting worse, especially in the inner cities. That’s disturbing for all students. It’s tough enough to be young in this country, but to be young and Latino is a double challenge. The biggest job we have in this country is taking care of our kids. I grew up with a lot of challenges, but my parents always made sure I went to school and stayed on the right path.”
That path has led him to phenomenal success as a recording artist; yet, remarkably, furthering his own career is not his main priority. “People say celebrities have no time to do anything but work on their own success,” he said. “You know what? You have to make the time. It’s about commitment. If you don’t commit, it’s not going to happen.”