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Home | Tag Archives: Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED)

Tag Archives: Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED)

CREEED awards college scholarship to San Eli High’s Jocelyn Torres

Thursday morning, the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) awarded its 2020 Sylvia Hopp San Elizario College Scholarship to graduating senior Jocelyn Torres.

The online ceremony included Jocelyn’s family, CREEED board members, San Elizario High School Principal Maribel Guillen, Assistant Principal, Claudia Flores, and Student Activities Manager, Jasmine Lozano.

This year’s scholarship recipient, Jocelyn Torres, is an accomplished student who has excelled academically throughout her high school career and was involved in many extracurricular activities. In addition to succeeding in several advanced placement (AP) and dual credit courses, Torres was an officer for the National Honor Society, ranked tenth in her class, and was a member of the Folklorico dance team and softball team.

Inspired by the hard work of her family, Jocelyn will be attending St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and majoring in Biology, with a minor in Psychology. She plans on attending medical school in the future and becoming a dermatologist.

“Jocelyn is a wonderful representation of the kind of talent, commitment, and future ambition that students in the Borderplex region possess. The transition from graduating high school to attending a four-year university can be intimidating, especially in times like these,” said former superintendent Sylvia Hopp.

“I am thankful for organizations like CREEED who not only shine light on hard working students like Jocelyn, but help them to achieve their higher education goals. During these times of uncertainty, it’s important to double down on our commitment to see more students graduate from college, and find ways to support that commitment.”

The scholarship is just one program created and supported by CREEED to increase the number of high performing El Paso students pursuing and obtaining a college degree.

CREEED also supports school district initiatives that prepare all students to be college-and-career ready by the time they graduate high school, including the expansion of dual credit courses, STEM programming, and teacher development programs.

“CREEED believes that investing in the education and preparation of our students is crucial to the economic prosperity of our region. With the Sylvia Hopp Scholarship, and all CREEED initiatives, we strive to increase the number of college graduates in our region, and position them for success in our workforce and the regional economy,” said Eddie Rodriguez, CREEED’s Executive Director.

“The cost of attending college should not deter our high performing students from pursuing a degree, and that is why CREEED is invested in supporting more students faced with this challenge. We are thrilled to support Jocelyn in her college career and future endeavors.”

The Sylvia Hopp Scholarship Fund was established in 2017 to honor former San Elizario ISD superintendent Sylvia Hopp’s contributions to improving educational attainment in El Paso.

It will award a total of $20,000 in scholarships by 2025 to help graduating seniors from San Elizario High School with a $2,500 scholarship to cover tuition and other costs associated with attending and completing college.

More information about the Sylvia Hopp Scholarship and CREEED’s efforts to raise educational attainment in the El Paso region can be found at

CREEED Dual-Credit Scholarship Program supports certification of 215 El Paso Teachers

The Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) announced on Thursday that their organization has awarded $430,000 in scholarships to 215 local high school teachers this summer through its Accelerated Certification of Teachers (ACT El Paso) Scholarship Program.

The funding will help educators complete the credentialing process, expanding the number of high school teachers certified to teach dual-credit courses by over 250 percent.

“CREEED is committed to improving postsecondary attainment for all students in El Paso by investing in programs and policies that increase the college readiness of our students and ensure they are able to pursue and complete a postsecondary degree in a timely manner,” said Richard A. Castro, Chairman of CREEED. “By investing in dual credit and the professional development of our local teachers, this scholarship program helps gives more students a head start towards a degree and prepares them for the rigors of college.”

Through the ACT El Paso scholarship, the following El Paso school districts will see more teachers receiving funding to become certified dual-credit instructors

      5 teachers at Canutillo Independent School District
      11 teachers at Clint Independent School District
      50 teachers at El Paso Independent School District
      75 teachers at Socorro Independent School District
      60 teachers at Ysleta Independent School District
In addition, the ACT El Paso scholarship program has expanded to include teachers at the following school districts for the first time:
      10 teachers at Fabens Independent School District
      1 teacher at Tornillo Independent School District
      3 teachers at Anthony Independent School District
The scholarship funds will be used by teachers to help pay for their credentialing process, which requires them to complete 18 graduate semester credit hours in their instructional area and successfully obtain a master’s degree.
Currently, only 70 percent of students who enter The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and 34 percent who enter El Paso Community College (EPCC) are fully prepared for college-level work. Most of these students are graduates of local high schools.

CREEED aims to place teachers certified to offer dual credit courses in every high school in El Paso County. ACT El Paso is part of the non-profit group’s larger plan to improve educational parity, enhance the quality of instruction, and see more students complete post-high-school degree or certificate programs throughout the El Paso region.

Additional comments from educational leaders in El Paso County regarding the ACT El Paso scholarship program can be found here.

Dual-credit courses give high school students the opportunity to take college-level coursework and earn college credit while still in high school. Research shows that students who successfully complete 18 hours of dual credit courses are four times more likely to complete a college credential or degree program on time.

Since 2015, CREEED has awarded $709,000 out of a total of $1 million for the scholarship program, which aims to increase higher education enrollment and completion among El Paso students.

STTE Foundation celebrates local education leaders

On Thursday, the Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation hosted the 2019 Education Awards honoring eight leaders in education who are preparing students to be successful in the modern economy.

“There are so many teachers in our region doing amazing work that too often goes unrecognized. There is a strong spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity in the way that educators are working to prepare our students for their futures,” said Joseph Sapien, executive director of the STTE Foundation. “The 2019 Education Award recipients represent the best of this spirit and we are honored to celebrate them and their work.”

The educators recognized during today’s ceremony have excelled at supporting young students to pursue careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics (STEAM) fields, providing innovative approaches to curriculum, after school programming, and access to various means of professional development to students in the El Paso region.

Created by the STTE Foundation, this year’s Education Awards is the second annual event for the Awards, providing a unique opportunity to bring together community stakeholders, educators, and other local leaders to support and highlight efforts to ensure that El Paso remains competitive as technological, math, and engineering-focused careers continue to become an increasingly significant sector of the local and national economy.

The event’s lead sponsor is the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) – a not-for-profit organization focused on increasing the number of high-performing seats in El Paso’s public education system and thereby assuring a college-ready, competitive and skilled workforce.

“At CREEED, we recognize the vital role that STEAM education plays in providing students with the skills and tools that they need to be successful in the future,” said Richard A. Castro, Chairman of CREEED.

“We are honored to work with the STTE Foundation to celebrate some of our region’s most inspiring educators who are working to ensure that our students graduate prepared to succeed in college and beyond.”

The eight awardees honored at this year’s event are:
●      CREEED Education Leadership Award – Margie Nelson Rodriguez, El Paso Community College

●      El Paso Electric Regional Innovator Award – Lauren Curry, New Mexico State University

●      Glassell Family Foundation Inspirational Pathway Award – Hector Lugo Nevarez, University of Texas at El Paso

●      Prudential Math Architect Award – Sergio Estrada, Riverside High School, YISD

●      Microsoft Technology Cultivator Award – James Ryan, Frank Macias Elementary,  Clint ISD

●      Entrepreneurship Producer Award – Michael Nelson, Fab Labs El Paso

●      Outstanding School Achievement Award – Manuela Gomez, Professor, El Paso Community College, Philosophy Club

●      STEAM Creator Award – Alejandra Galindo, Clint ISD

CREEED Invests $75k in Canutillo Mathematics College Readiness Initiative

The Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) has awarded Canutillo Independent School District (CISD) $75,000 to support a dramatic expansion of its middle school mathematics college readiness program. 

The funding will help increase the number of students who can take Algebra I while still in middle school. 
“Algebra is widely considered the gatekeeper subject,” said CREEED Chairman Richard A. Castro. “Students who complete a mathematics course beyond Algebra 2 are four times more likely to receive a college degree, but that is challenging when you don’t have any exposure to Algebra before high school.  CREEED’s grant helps prepare El Paso students for high school and college.”
Under the new CISD mathematics college readiness plan, all eighth-grade students who “meet” or “master” seventh grade standards on the annual STAAR mathematics test will be enrolled in Algebra I. 
In addition, some students who scored as “approaches” on the STAAR exam will be enrolled in Algebra I and provided additional assistance in the advanced coursework.  
Only 24% of CISD eighth-graders completed Algebra I last year. Today, almost one-half of CISD eighth-graders are successfully completing their first semester of Algebra I.  
“The question is no longer if our students should take algebra, but when,” said CISD Superintendent Dr. Pedro Galaviz.  “Thanks to CREEED’s support, CISD will be able to transform expectations, making the completion of Algebra I in middle school the norm rather than the exception.”
Canutillo is also investing in advanced teacher training as part of the new program, which will be rolled out over the next five years. 
With CREEED’s financial assistance, CISD plans to make Algebra I available to all students who scored at the “meets,” “masters,” and “approaches” levels by 2024.  

CREEED awards $150k in scholarship funds to 75 Socorro ISD teachers

Monday, the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) awarded $150,000 in scholarship funds to 75 teachers in the Socorro Independent School District through its Accelerated Certification of Teachers (ACT El Paso) Scholarship Program.

The funding will help educators attain dual-credit certifications, dramatically expanding the number of Socorro ISD high school teachers to teach dual-credit courses.

Dual-credit courses give high school students the opportunity to take college-level coursework and to earn college credit while still in high school.  Research shows that students who successfully complete 16 hours of dual credit courses are four times more likely to complete a college credential or degree program on time.

CREEED launched the ACT El Paso program in 2015 as part of its effort to improve college readiness  and post-secondary attainment for all students in El Paso County.

“CREEED is delighted to be making this long-term investment in our public schools,” said Richard A. Castro, Chairman of CREEED.  “This scholarship program strengthens Socorro’s faculty, enriches its educational offerings, and helps prepare more of its students for the rigors of college.”

Dr. Jose Espinoza, Superintendent of Socorro ISD, said that the scholarships would strengthen the district’s curriculum and provide its teachers with additional training and professional development opportunities.

“We are honored to receive the ACT El Paso Scholarships to support more SISD teachers in their professional growth by earning dual credit teaching credentials,” added Dr. Espinoza. “The scholarships will enable Team SISD to continue its laser-sharp focus on college and career readiness by strengthening our highly qualified and effective teaching force and expanding opportunities for our students to take dual credit courses in high school.”

ACT El Paso is part of CREEED’s larger strategic focus of increasing educational attainment, improving educator effectiveness, and engaging parents and community organizations in El Paso’s education system.

“Our commitment to El Paso’s students, and families, has always been about increasing their ability to excel in higher education and our economy,” said Eddie Rodriguez, Executive Director of CREEED. “Dual credit courses prepare more of our students for college, and help ensure that our region has a strong and competitive workforce to power our economy.” .

“The ability to go through the credentialing process and take graduate courses has fundamentally changed the way I approach all my classes,” said fine arts teacher Candace Printz. “I want all my students to have the ability to think critically, and be exposed to the same level of rigor and education. Thanks to CREEED’s commitment, I was able to find my calling again and bring a new passion to my teaching.”

To find out more about CREEED’s ACT El Paso scholarship fund, please click here

CREEED presents $100k grant to STTE Foundation; New partnership announced

At STEAMX’s 10th anniversary event on Friday, the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) presented the Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation with a $100,000 grant.

“We are thrilled to accept this generous contribution from CREEED, which will help thousands of students in El Paso prepare for advanced learning opportunities in STEAM subjects,” said Joseph Sapien, Executive Director of STTE.  “CREEED is directly aligned with our foundation’s core mission. Together, we can increase the percentage of students entering STEAM fields in college and in their careers.”

The donation will support events and programming for students in the El Paso region pursuing higher education opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

The STTE Foundation is committed to a 20-year plan to enhance the regional economy through educational programs and meaningful partnerships.

Last year, the STTE Foundation reached 2,601 youth from the region, and it hopes to double that number in 2019. The $100,000 contribution from CREEED will support the foundation’s capital campaign and help fund various programs in the community, including STEAMX – a two day event that provides middle and high school students the opportunity to participate in real-world STEAM-based competitions.

“Student attainment in El Paso and across the border region is a top priority at CREEED.  We are committed to increasing opportunities for our students not only to be prepared for college, but also to expand their awareness of STEAM subjects and careers,” said Eddie Rodriguez, Executive Director of CREEED.

“Our partnership with STTE will allow us to prepare more students for continued education and STEAM careers, strengthen community support, and encourage parental involvement through programs, events and scholarship opportunities.”

Along with community events, this contribution will also support summer camps with the University of Texas at El Paso, Texas Tech University and New Mexico State University, as well as after-school programs run by K.I.C.K (Kids, Innovation, Computer Science, Know-How), an organization that inspires careers in  technology and advances STTE’s goal of 100% digital literacy for youth by 2030.

A complete list of events, workshops and winners from  the STEAMX 2019 competition event can be found via this link.

CREEED, Canutillo ISD to Bring Computer Science Education to all Middle School Students

On Thursday, Canutillo Independent School District announced a new partnership with GameSalad for Education and the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) to expand computer science education to its middle school students over the next five years.

Canutillo Middle School currently uses the GameSalad curriculum to introduce its 6th grade students to STEM and computer science concepts and education.

After completing the GameSalad course, last year’s 6th grade cohort showed a 3% increase in combined Meets and Masters scores on the STAAR Math exam.

Canutillo ISD secured a grant of $42,646 from CREEED, a not-for-profit education policy and advocacy group focused on creating measurable outcomes and dedicated to closing the achievement gap for El Paso County students, which will allow them to expand this program to all its 7th and 8th grade students by the 2020-2021 school year.

GameSalad for Education is a STEM education partner dedicated to engaging all students in computer science by empowering them to design, program, and create their own professional grade mobile games.

“GameSalad encourages students to develop their computational and critical thinking skills which align with the district’s STEM initiatives,” said Dr. Pedro Galaviz, Canutillo ISD Superintendent. “CREEED’s generous grant jump starts the expansion of this program and supports Canutillo’s ongoing commitment to provide STEM opportunities for our students.”

Exponential growth of jobs in the technology sector relative to the number of qualified candidates has created a need for rapid advances in STEM education in the United States.

Studies project that by 2020 there will be 1 million more jobs in computer science than U.S. computer science students. Innovation is outpacing the skills & knowledge we are transferring to our nation’s students.

“We are excited to be bringing world class computer science instruction to the students of Canutillo and offer them the capability to be strong participants in the 21st century economy,” said Brent Dusing, GameSalad CEO. “We are honored to be working with CREEED, who are fantastic visionaries for the transformation of El Paso.”

Though many districts are aware of the importance of STEM and computer science, they face barriers to implementing appropriate programs for their students. Underfunding, lack of teachers, and lack of student interest all play a role in preventing successful implementation of computer science education programs.

“CREEED made a commitment to increase educational attainment throughout the El Paso region on a scalable basis by investing in school district initiatives that move the needle on student outcomes and prepares them for the future of work,” said Eddie Rodriguez, CREEED Executive Director.

“Canutillo’s decision to bring in a new innovative model into its middle school classrooms has not only improved math outcomes for students, but is setting them up to enter a growing job market in the tech field. It is also preparing students effectively for post-secondary education, placing them in a position to graduate high school College Ready. We look forward to funding more innovative proven programs like this in El Paso.”

‘Sylvia Hopp San Elizario College Scholarship’ Awarded to San Elizario Senior

The Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) awarded the Sylvia Hopp San Elizario College Scholarship to San Elizario senior Angelica Jasso in the amount of $2,500.

The scholarship fund, established in 2017, will award a total of $20,000 in scholarships over the next 8 years to help students cover tuition or other costs associated with attending and completing college.

“I’m excited about the opportunities that CREEED is creating for our students to support their pursuit of a college degree,” said Sylvia Hopp, a former San Elizario ISD Superintendent. “During my time as an educator and administrator, I was constantly moved by the dreams and potential of our students and it’s important to have community advocates like CREEED who are providing the resources students need to succeed. Ms. Jasso is an exemplary student who has shown tremendous personal growth during her four years at San Elizario High School and is committed to making her dreams a reality.”

The scholarship fund builds on CREEED’s existing efforts to support El Paso students build the skills and knowledge they need to graduate college and career ready, including the launch of Girls Who Code chapters in El Paso, creating the ACT El Paso scholarship fund to expand the number of teachers who are credentialed to offer dual-credit courses in high school, and providing local school district and higher education institutions with grants to implement innovative initiatives.

“I’m very proud to have been chosen as the first recipient of the scholarship,” said Angelica Jasso who plans to study nursing at The University of Texas at El Paso. “I’m also grateful to organizations like CREEED who make an effort to support my dreams and offer financial help so I can reach my goals.”

Angelica is an accomplished student participating in many extra curricular activities including National Honor Society and the San Elizario campus improvement committee as well as varsity track and field, soccer, and cross country.

She is also an active volunteer for the Special Olympics and San Elizario’s special education department.

“The ultimate goal of the scholarship is to support and encourage students to strive for academic excellence beyond high school and obtain a post-secondary degree within 6 years of their enrollment,” said Eduardo “Eddie” Rodriguez, CREEED’s Executive Director. “In addition to preparing students to obtain a college degree or certificate, we need to provide  them with the resources they need to obtain that degree. We are excited about the future college graduates that will benefit from the Sylvia Hopp San Elizario College Scholarship Fund.”

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