Union Pacific announces grant support for NHI’s Digital Learning Experiences
The Union Pacific Community Ties Giving Program announced today it will support the National Hispanic Institute’s efforts to bring this summer’s Digital Learning Experiences to students through a $25,000 grant.
The grant is part of a broader effort to bring NHI in-person programs directly into students’ homes. It will help fund experienced production managers, equipment, necessary wi-fi upgrades and the creation of a broadcast studio at NHI’s Maxwell, Texas headquarters as NHI plans to deliver online interactive experiences to students throughout the summer. Online instruction is already underway for students, including GDx preparation for NHI Great Debaters and the LDZ Symposium for LDZers awaiting their live programs in 2021. NHI is actively preparing for the first-ever CWSx on June 29, as well as the GDx training and competitions in July and early August.
“We thank Union Pacific for its generous support in helping us deliver online leadership experiences to our students,” said Nicole Nieto, Executive Vice President for NHI. “Though the pandemic prevented us from hosting in-person programs, our new digital learning platform will keep this essential education going. Union Pacific’s support will help us effectively engage our students in the NHI learning principles and curriculum so students will be on track at an important age to develop their leadership skills.”
“We believe access to vibrant spaces, including the digital spaces that have become increasingly important in 2020, are critical for communities to thrive,” said Ivan Jaime, Union Pacific Sr. Director of Public Affairs. “By investing in high-quality non-profits and programs like those provided by the National Hispanic Institute, we achieve a step toward our mission of service while helping communities grow and prosper.”
Union Pacific has supported NHI with technology and outreach once before, providing grant money in 2017 to help NHI launch its podcast. The ongoing NHI Podcast series was developed to provide NHI participants with thought-provoking dialogue to enrich their understanding of themes relevant to community life. The series delivered interviews with a number of people, including:
- Tejano artist Ruben “El Gato” Negro,
- Director of Hispanic Media & Press Secretary for.Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer’s office and NHI alumnus Carlos Paz, and
- First-term Congresswoman and NHI alumna Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The podcast also includes past and present NHI staff members, and honorees at the 2018 Celebracion event.
While NHI is creating digital formats of its communications program (GDx) and college readiness program (CWSx) for the first time — including its first-ever Digital College Fairs on July 8 and 30 — this summer’s inaugural formats are likely to carry over to future years. They’re being envisioned as a way to serve students who may not be able to travel to a live NHI program, but still want to engage in the unique brand of leadership education for high-performing high school students.
The Union Pacific Community Ties Giving Program, supports non-profit organizations headquartered in cities and towns that are part of Union Pacific’s railroad network. NHI’s home base is on the historic Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad route established in 1865. The railroad is, in fact, so integral to the town’s history that one of its main streets is called Railroad Street.