Although almost 20% of the country’s population is Latino, which is the largest minority in the United States, there is an under-representation in federal, state, and local governments. In fact, 25% of Americans under the age of 18 are Latino, and the ethnicity is also 1.7x more likely to be entrepreneurs than other groups.
Jimmy Zumba, a successful entrepreneur in the Bethlehem area, experienced how difficult it was as a Latino student and professional and wanted to do something to help current students. He founded Latinos ARE (which stands for Activism, Representation, Education) in February 2023 with 3 main goals: to “increase Latino and STEM representation in the three branches of the state government, provide internships and fellowships opportunities to Latino and STEM grad and undergrad students in the state government, and educate legislators about the Latino culture so they have a better understanding of our needs and could legislate according to them.”
Zumba hopes to achieve these goals by reaching out to the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Pennsylvania state government and teaching the elected officials about the Latino culture and their influence. Latinos ARE also plans to create connections at local colleges and universities to promote the non-profit and showcase the internship and fellowship options available to the students through the program.
For Zumba, the organization will be successful when it engages Latino students in local government and communities and when these places have more Latino representation.