Baker Ripley, largest Houston nonprofit, faces big challenges

Pandemic pivot to focus on priorities

Claudia Aguirre came to the United States with her parents when she was 8 years old. Now as she leads Houston’s largest nonprofit agency she says it her story is very much a part of the agency’s 112 year old legacy. “Think about your family, your neighbor, your friend who helped you when you were down, who opened a door for you,” she said. “Who really helped and said, what can I do for you? That’s Baker Ripley.” From rent relief to ease evictions to feeding senior citizens, Baker Ripley is on the front lines during this pandemic. Find out more in this week’s Houston Newsmakers EXTRA with Claudia Aguirre and see the rest of her interview on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.

The digital divide threatens to irreparably harm a generation

Gaby Rowe spent most of her professional life in education and saw the challenges faced by students who did not have access to broadband connectivity. It is fitting then that she takes on the role of project lead for Operation Connectivty, a program sponsored by the state to pump 400 million dollars into communities to get digital devices into student’s hands. She says not doing so means harm to more than just disadvantaged communities. “The research tells us that if a child misses more than 30 days of school, not consecutively but over the course of any given school year, they will fall between 3 and 5 years behind and never catch up,” she said. When talking about the missing link created by missing digital access she said, “we are talking about children not missing days but weeks and months!” We are at risk for losing a generation.” See more on this week’s program plus a Newsmakers EXTRA with Gaby Rowe.

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More Information:

Claudia Aguirre, President, CEO Baker Ripley

· Website: https://www.bakerripley.org/

· Phone: 713-667-9400

· Twitter: @BakerRipley

· Email: caguirre@bakerripley.org

Gaby Rowe, Project Lead, Operation Connectivity

· Website: https://www.growassociatesllc.com

· Website: https://bit.ly/2PQW6Ko

· Phone: 281-900-9717

· Email: gaby@growassociatesllc.com]

STRONGER HOUSTON, The Digital Divide, Reporter Re’Chelle Turner

· Website: https://www.click2houston.com/topic/stronger_houston/

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