At Cabanillas & Associates, our founder Chris Cabanillas has had the privilege of working closely with El Centro Hispano and just this year took his commitment to the organization to the next level by becoming a board member. He has seen firsthand and shared with his colleagues on many occasions the positive differences the center’s team has made for people living in our community.
If you go to El Centro Hispano’s website, you will see the tag “Changing lives since 1974”. When it was set up in White Plains 42 years ago, the mission of its founders was to assist, support and strengthen the growing numbers of Hispanic families in the area. Today, the needs of families may be different, but the center’s aim is the same - El Centro Hispano changes lives.
A huge range of programs are offered by El Centro Hispano. Educational programs aimed at all age groups ensure that Hispanic families are not left behind when it comes to computer skills, study skills, and early literacy. Tutorial programs for middle and high school students ensure that our young people have the tools to meet their potential. The cultural and recreation programs are always well attended, providing enjoyable, informative days out that bring the whole family together.
Today, El Centro Hispano offers assistance that is incredibly valuable in today’s society for children and young people in particular. One vital initiative that was rolled out in 2009 was the state-of-the-art Technology Center. It has been instrumental in improving the computer literacy skills of its users, as everyone from school-aged children to seniors can sign up for classes. The Technology Center has been in constant demand since its opening, thanks to the high speed internet access, range of courses, and connectivity to White Plains public schools.
For deserving high school students, the El Centro Hispano Scholarship Program has been the key to a bright and successful future. Since the program began in 1980, $406,650 in scholarships have been awarded to almost 500 high school seniors to help them progress to the next stage of their education. Cabanillas & Associates has been honored to participate in this program over the past two years.
El Centro Hispano is a lifeline for members of our community who lack language skills or confidence when it comes to communicating with individuals or organizations that provide a service. In 2015, 639 additional services were provided by the dedicated team at El Centro Hispano: staff translated or notarized documents; filled out applications for jobs and school places; composed letters; and made phone calls on behalf of their clients to doctors, lawyers, schools, hospitals, employers, landlords, and social service agencies.
El Centro Hispano has been instrumental in securing employment for thousands of clients. In 2015 alone, staff made 5,758 job referrals. Furthermore, 7,319 housing referrals were made, enabling people to have their own rooms, apartments and studios in Westchester. For members of our community in need, the center also distributes food twice a month.
At Cabanillas & Associates, we are proud to be associated with El Centro Hispano through our latest community outreach drive: Back to School with El Centro Hispano. If you would like to join us and El Centro Hispano in helping children from the White Plains area get ready for returning to school, please donate school supplies suitable for children in kindergarten through to sixth grade. You can leave them into any of the eight Cabanillas & Associates offices by August 25th.