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Del Valle ISD hosts Austin's first bilingual Entrepreneurship Conference

Studies show students who learn or know another language show heightened executive functions, attention control, cognitive inhibition and working memory.

AUSTIN, Texas — In a partnership with Del Valle ISD, Latinitas, Austin’s only 100% bilingual STEM education nonprofit, brought its Startup Chica Conference to Del Valle on Saturday at the district’s Dailey Middle School. Open to girls, teens and non-binary students ages 9-14, attendees start a business for social good from concept to pitch.

Having received $1.5 million in federal stimulus money in 2021 to expand its dual-language program, Del Valle ISD was chosen as the location for the organization's first bilingual conference. The whole district is dual-language integrated and offers multiple programs for bilingual students.

“We are proud to offer girls in our district this special conference in partnership with Latinitas where students will learn from and be inspired by local women entrepreneurs. It is our priority to offer unique and innovative experiences for our students and this conference is certainly one of those opportunities,” said Annette Tielle, Del Valle ISD Superintendent. "This conference captures the innovation and resourcefulness of the Del Valle community and its students, positioning them as future global leaders."

“Our community deserves the best. I am so excited to welcome Latinitas to Del Valle for their Startup Chica Conference,” added Austin Councilmember Vanessa Fuentes. “This is a wonderful opportunity for young girls to learn skills on how to start their own business, how to pitch ideas to investors and to hear from community and business leaders. If you can see it, you can be it.”

RELATED: Voters approve $300 million Del Valle ISD bond for 2nd high school, more land

Startup Chica prepares students to take full advantage of the opportunities in innovation and tech in Del Valle.

The event featured TK Tunchez (entrepreneur and founder of Frida Friday ATX) as keynote speaker, Aurora Archer (founder and CEO of The Opt-In) as objective and strategy speaker, Fuentes as pitching speaker and Salwa Yordi (founder of Farandula Texas) as MC. Additionally, Jasmine Vallejo (community manager at Meta), Dr. Karla Arellano (postdoc at UT Austin) and Yumi Ramos (automations control engineer at Tesla) participated in a panel discussion moderated by Belinda Rivera on leveraging creativity in the STEM industry.

"It is so important for girls of color, specifically Black and brown girls, to see these examples of women of color that are owning their own businesses, that are CEOs and founders, that are being leaders in our in our community. And we want them to aspire to that as well. And we start that see, we plant that seed very early on," said Sylvia Butanda, deputy executive director of Latinitas. 

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