With planning grant support Rural LISC, IDRA is creating an innovative public-private partnership to provide experiential learning opportunities and paid apprenticeships to the students of the Texas Rio Grande Valley, starting with Hidalgo, Cameron and Starr Counties.
We will teach and train students, who we call “TechXperts,” to operate a help desk and become digital navigators and to provide them with opportunities to help design and build fiber optic infrastructure in the region.
In this project, IDRA is working with VTX1 Companies, Team Pharr.Net, Connect Humanity, Rural LISC, Region 1 Education Service Center, ARISE Adelante, La Union Del Pueblo Entero and other regional workforce partners, who are committed to making this happen!
The Realities of the Digital Divide within Texas Colonias
In October 2022, IDRA and ourLevelUp RGV partners held a site visit in the Texas Rio Grande Valley, were about 500,000 Texans live in the colonias and face the difficulties of being on the wrong side of the digital divide on a daily basis. We ended the visit with a bilingual virtual session to hear from residents and experts who shared stories of their experiences, what they have done to improve their communities and how they tackle connectivity challenges. The session is available for viewing on-demand.
Build Students’ STEM Identity through IDRA’s TechXperts Program
LevelUp: RGB is a planning grant to build partnerships and fully launch IDRA’s TechXperts program. TechXperts will build students’ STEM identity in the computer science field through a combination of four strategies:
recruiting incoming ninth-grade students as technical support specialists on campus to build students’ computer science knowledge and STEM identity;
providing dynamic, hands-on, and student-led project-based learning (PBL) modules and year-long technology support experiences in collaboration with the participating districts’ information technology (IT) departments;
engaging students in mentoring relationships with local STEM professionals; and