Rio Grande Valley Linking Economic and Academic Development (RGV LEAD) develops and manages collaborative projects that bring employers and educators together to help students set and achieve college-and-career goals.
Helping students set and achieve college-and-career goals impacts individual lives and in a greater sense also impacts the Valley’s decades long struggle with low educational levels. Since 1992, RGV LEAD, a Texas nonprofit and federal 501c3 organization, and its partners have implemented initiatives that have become a vital part of a regional effort to improve the Valley’s educational levels.
Working as the project manager for regional joint ventures, RGV LEAD manages collaborative projects such as educator externships, and student internships. RGV LEAD’s partners include school districts, colleges and universities, the regional education service center, economic development organizations, workforce development boards, and others. Educational institutions support RGV LEAD because its projects have helped to improve graduation and college enrollment rates. Economic development organizations support RGV LEAD because its initiatives address the Valley’s long standing need for an educated, skilled workforce.
RGV LEAD began with a federal grant, but has become a true regional community-based organization supported by Valley stakeholders. Evaluation reports indicate RGV LEAD’s initiatives are working.