Public-Private Partnership Brings Computer, English-Language Training to At-Risk Youth in El Savador

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, July 27, 2010
USAID Press Office

SAN SALVADOR-The U.S. Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), signed a public-private alliance July 14 with Microsoft El Salvador and the Sagrera Palomo Foundation to bring educational opportunities to low-income, at-risk youth in El Salvador.

"We truly believe that students can achieve their dreams, and we imagine a generation pursuing their ideals and making a daily effort to meet their academic objectives and other personal goals," said Director of USAID El Salvador, Larry Brady, during the signing ceremony.

With a total investment of $3.9 million, of which $1.5 million will come from USAID and $2.4 million from the Sagrera Palomo Foundation, and with support from Microsoft to obtain software licenses, the alliance hopes to open six training centers over the next three years to benefit over 1,000 high school students. This alliance is part of USAID's Global Development Alliance initiative, which promotes corporate social responsibility by engaging private enterprises in actions that will benefit society.

The Sagrera Palomo Foundation's iSupérate! Education Program was started in 2004 with the establishment of the first iSupérate! Training Center in San Juan Opico, La Libertad. The program was such a success that four additional centers opened in El Salvador under a franchise model in which other foundations can open centers using the iSupérate! brand.

At the centers, a total of 950 youth have received two hours of classes in English, life skills and values as well as computer training six days a week, either before or after their normal public school day. Thanks to the generous donation of software licenses by Microsoft, iSupérate! participants have access to the technological tools they will need to compete in the modern job market or further their education.

"We are extremely pleased and thankful for this valuable contribution by USAID and Microsoft, which allows us to expand the iSupérate! Education Program to benefit hundreds of youth who yearn to get ahead in life. Additionally, we're thankful for the vote of confidence from our partners in this effort, which validates our educational program and commits us to continue supporting Salvadoran youth with the goal of Transforming Lives Through Education," stated Ricardo Sagrera, President of the Sagrera Palomo Foundation.

"Microsoft has a commitment to El Salvador and all of the countries in which it operates in the sense that we bring the technological tools which allow the country to meet the challenges of globalization and also help its people reach their maximum potential," said Gracia Rossi, General Manager of Microsoft El Salvador. " It is because of this that we have joined the Sagrera Palomo Foundation and USAID, in order to create new iSupérate! centers so that our future generations, without exception, have access to technology that not only allows them to become qualified but also provides them with greater opportunities for personal development and allows them to improve their life conditions."

After completion of the iSupérate! Education Program, students are not only fully bilingual and proficient in important Microsoft programs, but are equipped with the tools they need to become young leaders and agents of positive change. Many iSupérate! Graduates have been able to continue their studies at technical schools or universities thanks to the iSupérate! scholarship program, and some have even been awarded scholarships to study in the United States by the American Embassy in El Salvador.

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Last updated: May 18, 2012

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