H-E-B and Rocket21 Announce Collaboration to Help Texas Middle School Students Prepare for Their Futures

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H-E-B has joined forces with education technology company Rocket21 to bring 21st century career education to Texas middle school students by providing pilot funding to expand student enrollment in Texas21, an education and career planning online platform designed exclusively for Texas students.

HEB and Rocket21 Join Forces to Bring Career Exploration Program to Texas Middle School Students

Meeting today's educational needs while influencing the successful future of our students through a partnership with Texas21 makes perfect sense, said Winell Herron, Group VP of Public Affairs and Diversity, H-E-B.

H-E-B has joined forces with education technology company Rocket21 to bring 21st century career education to Texas middle school students. H-E-B provided pilot funding to facilitate expanded student enrollment in Texas21, an education and career planning online platform designed exclusively for Texas students. The dynamic Texas21 curriculum was created through a partnership between Rocket21 and educators at Texas Education Service Center Region 6 in Huntsville.

Texas21 offers students an engaging, immersive educational experience that guides them through an exploration of their interests and passions while helping them to create their Personal Graduation Plan in one of five Endorsement Areas, as required by Texas House Bill 5. The program provides schools with an education and career planning solution aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Career Development, Career Exploration and Career Portals, for academic credit.

Advancing through the curriculum's sequence of twenty-one challenges, students formulate their interest profiles, identify relevant career options, and connect with real world professionals from hundreds of fields, before developing a graduation plan containing courses that are available in each student’s district. Texas21 was first implemented in Texas schools as a pilot project beginning in Fall 2016 and is expected to roll out in hundreds of Texas schools in Fall 2017.

Participation by H-E-B will support the addition of middle school students in San Antonio and Edinburg to complete the curriculum in Spring 2017. “H‐E‐B wholeheartedly supports education and literacy throughout Texas in the communities we serve,” said Winell Herron, Group Vice-President of Public Affairs and Diversity, H-E-B. “Meeting today’s educational needs, while influencing the successful future of our students through a partnership with Texas21 makes perfect sense.”

Enrollment for San Antonio and Edinburg students is underway now, with program completion planned by June 2017. Eva Tristan Torres, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District notes, “Texas21 is directly aligned with Edinburg CISD’s emphasis on College and Career Readiness for our students. The Texas21 curriculum promises to be an engaging, interactive, and informative program. Our principals and counselors are excited and anxious to bring the program into our classrooms. Our kids are going to love it!”

Preliminary results from the Texas21 pilot project are promising. Mr. Will Guidry, Exploring Careers Instructor at Odom Academy in Beaumont, has been implementing Texas21 in classes since Fall 2016. Guidry notes, “My students are excited by the site and having the ability to contact various professionals in many careers covering all 16 career clusters. They’re enjoying each of the Rocket21 applications including Sharing Dreams, creating Interest Rings, and navigating multiple career paths. The online community engages students in progressively finding their career interests in multiple ways. Our students are being awakened to new careers and possibilities that they never considered while establishing a path to get there by learning about endorsements and career clusters. ROCKET21 really is helping our middle schoolers prepare for High School and get ready for life."

For more information about Texas21, email texas21(at)esc6.net.

H-E-B, with sales of more than $23 billion, operates more than 380 stores in Texas and Mexico. Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrated its 110th anniversary in 2015. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs more than 96,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit heb.com.

Rocket21 is a social engagement platform built on a single, powerful idea: Connecting youth with world class organizations and professionals at the top of their game. Rocket21 is the only social networking platform designed to safely connect kids and teens with professionals and experts representing unprecedented access to world-class experts and organizations while protecting them with a combination of state-of-the-art, real-time filtering and human moderation, extensive safety and security precautions, and a specialized infrastructure designed to keep kids safe. For media inquiries, please contact media relations at media(at)rocket2.com. Like Rocket21 on Facebook and follow @Rocket21 on Twitter. For more information, visit rocket21.com.

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Jodell Seagrave
Rocket21
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