Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s
Culture of Giving Back
By Gloria Romano-Barrera
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) employee Jesse
Cortez, Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead,
saw his investment in community service pay off
at the Parents Step Ahead “Parent of the Year” Awards on
December 2017 as he assisted in rewarding the children
of the Parent of the Year Awardees with a laptop.
The students who received the laptops nominated their parents for the
Parent of the Year award. For many of them, this laptop is the first they
own. The Parent of the Year awardees also received a brand-new desktop
computer thanks to the generosity of Nina Vaca, President and CEO of
Parents Step Ahead (PSA), a non-profit organization based in Dallas,
TX, was created in 2006 by Lupita Colmenero to remedy the growing
lack of awareness troubling parents, especially underserved parents.
With this in mind, Colmenero believes parental involvement is an
essential component for children’s success of and for what is needed
to close the achievement gap, especially among the Latino and African
“I am a big fan of the work that Lupita Colmenero, founder of Parents
Step Ahead is doing with the organization,” Cortez shares, “Involvement is
the first step, if we are to help the youth – especially Latinas – to stay in
the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and so that
they too have access to future job markets.”
As a first generation American and proud son of Mexican parents, Cortez
was fortunate to experience many firsts in his family – first to attend college,
first to gain a Master’s degree, first to hold a ‘corporate’ job.
“I am a product of those that came before me and I recognize that I too
can make an impact and build inroads for others who are looking for a
chance to succeed as well,” he shares.
Cortez’ story of generosity coming to fruition emulates a bigger story about
HPE. Giving back has been at the core of HPE since its beginning, dating
back to the legacy HP company before splitting.
“As a leading global IT company, it is important to help our world
advance in many ways – including a focus on Environmental, Economic and, of
course, Human impact,” he shares. “As we develop programs focused
on needs such as education and financial inclusion, organizations like Parents
Step Ahead help connect corporate social responsibility with the real stories
and people that will continue to drive positive changes into the future.”
HPE’s community service and charitable giving defines the company
culture. For example, as part of HPE’s global partnership with Kiva (a
world renowned non-profit organization with a mission to alleviate
poverty), HPE recently completed their annual giving campaign called
“Matter to a Million”. It is done in conjunction with the Hewlett Packard
Enterprise Foundation that has matched employee credits totaling millions
since it was first launched in 2014.
Charitable efforts provided by employees and employers result in workplaces
that are better not only for business, but for people, the future, and the world.
Cortez is currently involved with organizations that are looking after
the STEM pipeline. He sits on the STEM Committee of SER National, an
organization that focuses on Hispanic kids competing in Robotics competitions.
He also serves on the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) National Board.
Though HITEC’s focus is on the executive pipeline, Cortez is a strong believer
that students and young employees need to see other Latinas and Latinos
in senior executive roles, like CIOs or Chief Information Security Officers.
For Cortez it is another way to inspire growth, prosperity and possibilities.
Want to comment or have any questions on this article? Email us at
Jesse Cortez, (center), Global Inclusion Effectiveness Lead Inclusion & Diversity at
Hewlett Packard Enterprise delivered laptops to the children of the 2017 Parent
of the Year honorees.
28 www.latinastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol. 24, No. 2, 2018