Growing up in the Ruby Hill neighborhood, Diane Pacheco and Darryl Hoogstrate, co-founders of Innovar Group – a technology-oriented recruiting and staffing firm, saw firsthand the difference quality education and resources can make in a student’s life.
“We went to West [High School], where we were very lucky to have access to a computer lab,”
said Darryl, Innovar Group’s Chief Operating Officer. (Diane is the company’s president) “Somebody donated computers which gave about a dozen of us access when we wouldn’t have had it otherwise.”
Although Darryl did not go on to work in computing and programming, he still works in the industry, and explained that many of his peers who were given computer access through that generous gift now work in computing.
Together, Darryl and Diane are working to give the same gift to scholars in that neighborhood, at an even younger age.
Innovar Group recently gifted $5,000 to STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill’s special education center to purchase iPads and other technology supplies.
“We’re a technology company, so we wanted to make sure our gift was focused on technology,” Darryl said.
Working to hire employees for tech-based companies, Darryl and Diane recognize that technology access is essential for students to be successful in college and 21st century careers.
“It [technology] is our future, it is everything now,” Darryl explained. “Without them [elementary students] having access to the capability to use a computer, I don’t know what future opportunities they could have – and this is a great future. If they don’t have it at an early age, like some kids do, they are already behind.”
Thanks to Innovar Group’s generous gift, STRIVE Prep’s youngest scholars will now get to explore how technology can help them learn and grow – and unlock the skills they will one day use in a promising career.