La Familia Technology Week, October 3-9th, to Extend Reach With International Webcast and Public Education Initiative

Students in Mexico and Cities Across the U.S. to Collaborate on a Project via the Web; Co-Sponsor IBM to Launch Program to Help Hispanic Students Stay and Succeed in School

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ARMONK, NY - 22 Sep 2004: Hundreds of middle-school students in Guadalajara, Mexico and four cities across the U.S. will collaborate on environmental issues via a webcast to experience the most exciting possibilities that technology presents during La Familia Technology Week ("La Familia"), sponsored by IBM and Career Communications Group.

Now in its fourth year, La Familia, a national public awareness campaign that coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month, communicates the value of technology and its importance in the education and career preparation to Hispanic families and their children. La Familia will also help to launch Partnering with IBM in Education (PIE), a yearlong, K-12 program developed to help Hispanic students stay and succeed in school.

"As the world's largest information technology provider, IBM has taken a leadership role in trying to ensure that people from all backgrounds have access to innovative information technologies and resources," said Enrique Rodriguez, vice president, world wide channels enablement and competitive sales, IBM Software Group and one of five La Familia Technology Week national co-chairs.

"La Familia Technology Week was launched as part of an outreach effort to the Hispanic community, but IBM has received much in return," said Rodriguez. "Offering our insights and experience has proven to be enormously satisfying to our employees and business partners. We've seen firsthand how we can make a difference and we are driving ourselves to do even more."

The highlight of the week will be the IBM webcast featuring the company's sponsored award-winning TryScience web site ( TryScience is the result of a partnership between IBM, the NY Hall of Science and the Association of Science-Technology Centers. Students in all five locations will collaborate together on the "A-Mazing Robot" activity to program a robot to pick up and dispose of toxic waste. The objective of the experiment is to show how logical thinking and mathematics are the backbone behind programming a computer.

Mr. Rodriguez and Paul Gomes, IBM's director, offering information management, will moderate the event in New York City. They will be joined by fellow co-chairs Ana Ondina Martinez, director, Latin America, who will oversee the activity in Miami; Enrique Gomez, director IBM On Demand Solutions Integration, who will attend the program in Austin; Patt Romero Cronin, vice president, IBM global services delivery, who will address the students in San Diego, and Carlos Saucedo, Manager, Corporate Community Relations, who will moderate the Guadalajara event.

Families will also have the chance to meet and interact with IBM Hispanic executives who have established careers in technology. In addition, IBM will also partner with schools, community organizations, youth and senior citizen centers and corporations to host the computer classes, technology expos, Internet cafes, career seminars and workshops that have provided thousands of Hispanics with technology access and training since the program began in 2000.

IBM is also announcing the "Partnering with IBM in Education" program during La Familia Technology Week. This major initiative will encourage interest in math and science among elementary school children, increase college preparedness, and help reduce the dropout rate among Hispanic students.

Hispanic IBM employees across the country will volunteer their time in local schools in order to provide a consistent presence in their communities. IBM supports employee volunteerism around the world with its On Demand Community program, providing resources for employees to use anytime and anywhere they volunteer. Throughout the school year, volunteers will engage in activities such as e-mentoring, science fairs, computer training for parents as well as offer career and technology presentations to the children. The program will also include, in selected cites, a cascade mentoring effort with students and professionals from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

"The Partnering with IBM in Education program, conceived at the company's Hispanic Leadership Symposium, will not only increase and support academic achievement among our children, but it will also highlight the role information technology plays in helping to level the playing field," Rodriguez explains.

"There are thousands of jobs and career opportunities for young people who pursue courses in math and science, and who open their minds to what technology has to offer. They can become IT professionals or senior executives at major corporations, or they can start their own IT companies. The industry needs the talent and contributions of Hispanic youth today, and it will continue to need those skills in the future."

To learn more about La Familia Technology Week 2004, please visit or call (410) 244-7101.