First in Future: President of the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals Marco Zarate

Summary: Twenty years ago, three Latino couples, made up of an engineer, a scientist, an IT professional and three teachers, took a look at what was going on with Latino education in the state, and didn’t like what they saw. About half of the students were dropping out of high school and they saw that was going to cause big problems for them, and the state.

That is when this week’s First in Future guest Marco Zarate, his wife and others stepped up and assisted in forming the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals, a nonprofit focused on “promoting education among Hispanic youth,” with a special focus on increasing high school graduation rates.

Nearly 17,000 students have come to an annual education summit, while another 175,000 have gotten information through their “stay in school” campaign. North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals have raised corporate contributions, brought in members and volunteers, and through it all Marco has stayed with the organization, as president on a voluntary basis.

Marco Zarate grew up in Tampico Mexico, then in Mexico City before going to one of the best universities in the country, Monterrey Tech, to study engineering. His connection to North Carolina began with a graduate program at NC State more than 30 years ago.

Listen to the podcast: