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My Generation

Jimmy Smits Inspires Others

Holding doors open for young Hispanic artists

En español | Jimmy Smits is arguably the most recognizable Latino actor in the public today. A star of the small-screen since the 1980s, Smits got his big break on the hit television show L.A. Law and followed it up with an award-winning stint on NYPD Blue. He’s also enjoyed success on The West Wing and as Senator Bail Organa in the Star Wars film series.

However, it's Smits’ latest role that really has people talking—inspiring and educating young Hispanics interested in the arts. To equal the playing field for Hispanics, Smits helped form the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, an organization that expands opportunities for Hispanics in the entertainment industry and offers graduate scholarships to Hispanic students.

“As an actor and as a performer, I’ve felt that the education system has really helped me in a lot of ways…there was always a teacher or a professor along the way that kept pushing me to the next stage,” he says. “Education is the key in so many ways.”

My Generation’s Gaby Goddard brings us his story.

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