This entrepreneur seeks to bring education to children who do not have internet access
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The call made by Alejandro Gabriel on social networks on August 15, 2020 was overwhelming: “Support education in times of COVID Join us!”; and invited a briefing.
The surprise was to see that 200 young volunteers enrolled who today give their time and knowledge to reinforce and design primary and secondary content for the Ministry of Public Education (SEP).
Through Share Plus , a very simple digital tool created in power point, teachers from all over the country can download these contents for free at the following link: https://bit.ly/SHARE_APPS , which can be shared by WhatsApp.
All Share Plus content is based on SEP textbooks and covers three modalities: primary, telesecundaria, and technical and general secondary. In a next phase they will include high school.
The great differentiator of Share Plus is that it does not require the Internet to function once you download the content. For this reason, public schools in rural or marginalized communities (which do have computers, but without access to the network) can get out of the educational gap using Share Plus. In Mexico, only 53% of homes have an Internet connection, according to Inegi.
Currently more than 500 teachers use this digital tool, as Alex and his team reached an alliance with sector number 9 of telesecundarias del Valle de Toluca. Each teacher has an average of 30 students, so more than 15,000 students are interacting with Share Plus content.
On September 5 of this year they launched a second call with the same message: “Support education in times of COVID Join us!”; and 100 more collaborators joined. 65% of the volunteers are from Tec de Monterrey and the remaining percentage from 20 different universities. The anecdote is that for the first briefing they only expected 30 people.
“I was quite surprised by the great response from the volunteers who contribute their work to Share Plus. My greatest satisfaction is to see that there are so many young people who are concerned and aware of the education situation in our country. Because they know that education is the future and that something must be done now to support this sector ”, says Alejandro Gabriel, founder of Share Plus in an interview for Entrepreneur in Spanish .
Alexander Gabriel. Photo: Courtesy
She started giving free English classes in her community
Alejandro Gabriel studies at the Tec de Monterrey campus Toluca thanks to the Leaders of Tomorrow scholarship, which requires having a social project as a requirement. In Alex's case, he entered Tec for the social work of giving free English classes in his Chapa de Mota community in the State of Mexico.
He also led an EdoMEx program called Young Peace Builders; Later, together with his colleagues from Tec, he organized conferences in secondary and high schools in the State of Mexico on problems of society such as alcoholism and drugs, and other topics for personal and professional development.
From Covid-19 Alex saw an opportunity to transform his conference project into Share Plus to contribute to education. “We want to help the education sector, which already has quite a significant lag; and with the pandemic, more was detonated. I first started inviting colleagues from my campus, they loved the idea and joined. Then more people joined with the calls we launched on social networks, ”says the 21-year-old, an industrial and systems engineering student.
Alex never thought Share Plus was going to become a startup. This would not have been possible without teamwork. “What I like the most is collaborating with guys so committed that they don't expect anything in return; who only want to contribute to society ”.
Photo: Courtesy Alejandro Gabriel
How will you make this social project profitable?
Share Plus has been presented to foundations, parents or teachers; who download the content because they are of quality and really serve. The app is functional, simple and easy to apply. Proof of this is the alliance with the Anacleto Guerrero foundation that delivered tablets in the community of Las Tórtolas in Monterrey with the contents of Share Plus.
“In the future we plan to make this social project profitable by uniting more important allies such as foundations that help us distribute what we do. We are also looking for NGOs and companies interested in our content reaching more children. Likewise, we will generate the content that private schools require. We would also like to have as clients publishers and museums who would like to make themselves known through a model like Share Plus ”.
Alex Gabriel's recommendation for our reader is to listen to people. It sounds simple, however, it is quite a challenge to put all your attention on what the public expresses, because they themselves tell you if you are on the right path. "People came to ask me: 'hey, why don't you make the leap from a social project to an enterprise."
The biggest challenge Alex has faced is that the same experts from the education system told him: 'what you are doing already exists; Why create something else? ' “If you think you really have a differentiator and that it is worth what you are offering, go ahead. Do not be discouraged. Believe in your project because maybe they will close one door, but many more will open ”.
This Tec de Monterrey student wants to inspire others to develop similar tools that contribute to the educational development of the country. “We do not seek to take away the role of anyone, neither the teacher nor the program that the SEP is already implementing. We are a complement ”.
Finally, for those who wish to receive scholarships from the Leaders of Tomorrow program, he advises: “Try it, it is a long process. There are many requirements that they ask of you. Interviews, exams and so on, but the prize is quite big. It changes your life. The approach that education has given me within Tec is phenomenal. It's like winning the lottery. It is worth continuing with the process ", he concludes.