A program focused on digital literacy and safety for students in Hispanic communities has expanded across the country as it enters its third year. Current high school participants say it's been a rewarding opportunity.
“I’m interested in computer science,” says Elizabeth Rodriguez, a senior at North Side High School in Houston and current Conexiones participant, “and this program for the community is amazing because sadly my mother and family never had this opportunity. I know they’re grateful I get to study this subject and I hope my younger nephews and future generations get the chance as well.”
Created by The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the U.S., the grassroot STEM program aimed at students ages 14 to 18 has been expanding with the support of T-Mobile as part of the Un-carrier’s Equity In Action plan. The Conexiones curriculum is meant to educate youth on digital privacy and security, identifying misinformation, combatting cyberbullying and building positive relationships online. To date, LULAC’s program has had 231 participants.
“At the end of last year’s cycle, 51.8% of participants said they were interested in pursuing a career in the STEM field while 96% said they were more interested in continuing to learn about internet safety,” says Priscilla Garcia, LULAC’s empowerment and education program coordinator.
With a pilot program in just two sites back in 2019, Conexiones is currently running programs at six sites in Texas, Virginia, California and Washington D.C.