The traditional Annual Meeting of Integrar Graduates took place on December 15 and, this year, it was a very special event. We not only celebrated the achievements of our scholarship recipients but also the 15th anniversary of Fundación Integrar.
During his remarks, the President of the Integrar’s Board of Directors recalled how it all started back in the early 2000s. At a soccer game, three friends who had just started the university met a young man who dreamed of going to college because he believed that getting an education would allow him to change his life for the better. The three friends realized that although the university is free in Argentina, the young man was so poor that he could not afford the transportation and study materials expenses. They decided to sponsor him and paid for his expenses; one of them assumed a mentoring role and all three got involved in keeping his motivation high despite the enormous difficulties he had to overcome. Over the years, they sponsored more and more young people and, in 2006, Fundación Integrar was born. We compiled the voices of our graduates in a video that can be accessed at https://youtu.be/rwJfy3WBInM
Over time, the peer support became a methodological approach: the scholarship holders receive a stipend, academic advice during their career, emotional support from a mentor, and workshops and training activities to ensure their job readiness.
Today, Fundación Integrar is proud to have 200 graduates and more than 150 students. Most importantly, in a country with the highest youth unemployment in the region, 90 percent of Integrar graduates have a formal job, the vast majority of which is related to their field of study and they report being satisfied or very satisfied with their lives.
Although we currently face a difficult economic situation and the annual inflation is expected to be over 100 percent, Fundacion Integrar was able to increase the number of vacancies available for the 2023 school year.
There were 192 applicants to the 2023 IntegrarTEC the scholarship program for those who want to learn coding and programming. Forty two students were selected and we are thrilled that half of them are women, an increment of 20 percentage points over the previous cohort. In addition, this year the IntegrarTEC program will be longer and more intensive. Last year we offered a Fullstack course and a complementary Java Script course for graduates, while this year we will offer a Fullstack (+) course of 110 hrs of duration and a 60 hour long training in TypeScript.
Soon we will start our annual information campaign to reach new scholarship candidates; we will continue our fundraising campaign, and we will conduct several training workshops focused on employability and life skills.
Thank you for your support!
This scholarship is the result of a partnership between Fundación Integrar, Polo IT, -the cluster of software companies from the city of Buenos Aires- and the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional. It aims to provide programmers with high-intensity technical training and foster their job readiness skills through a series of workshops. The University is responsible for the course content and the talent acquisition team of PoloIT oversees the employability practical training. Integrar’s mentors offer continuous support and supervision to the students.
The harsh economic crisis is increasingly harming the formal and professional labor market in Argentina however, the IT sector is growing exponentially and there is an ever-growing demand for professionals. We are certain that IntegrarTEC is a great opportunity for young people who need to join the labor force right after finishing high school. We are confident that by December, most of these programmers will have a formal job.
Fundraising and stability
As annual inflation is reaching 100 percent, budget management has become increasingly difficult. We are lucky to count on donors like yourself who donate in hard currency to help us honor our commitment to offering more scholarships every year. Your continuous support gives us a stable and predictable horizon to plan our operations and work with the future in mind and the student’s best interests at heart.
Thank you very much for sharing our conviction that education is the tool that can effectively change the fate of a young and poor Argentinian.
2022 is a special and exciting year for Integrar. For the first time in three years, we were able to bring in new scholarship holders. Sixty-five young people were admitted. Twenty-five wanted to pursue a traditional career and joined the “Integrar Scholarship” while 40 chose “Fullstack Programming”, the first intensive training course of IntegrarTEC, our newly launched scholarship specifically focused on IT.
The academic year in the southern hemisphere runs from March to December.
One hundred and forty scholarship holders started their academic year in March 2022. Three of them graduated before July, and we expect ten more graduations from the Integrar´s general program before December.
By late August, IntegrarTEC students will have completed the intensive Fullstack course. Thanks to a partnership between Fundación Integrar and Polo IT the cluster of software companies in the city of Buenos Aires- the best twenty students will be able to join a technological incubator that will provide them with extra training to foster their job readiness.
We believe that in a world where the labor market is changing fast, and sometimes unpredictably, the workers’ characteristics are key, especially for obtaining their first professional job. In addition to the network of contacts and alliances available to students and new graduates, we also work to improve their job readiness through workshops and other activities. The goal is to strengthen their communication skills so they can go through a job interview with solvency.
Argentina is suffering a serious recession and the economy is tumbling. The support of donors like you, who donate in hard currency, is most important to us at this time. Annual inflation is reaching 100 percent and your support gives us the stability we desperately need to keep our program going and growing.
Your support makes a difference.
It changes lives.
Rosario (photo), IntegrarTEC mentor:
“In a country with so much social inequality, IntegrarTEC's program is a great opportunity for vulnerable young people who need to join the working force as soon as possible after graduating from high school. These future IT professionals will have a variety of job alternatives, in a sector that- even in the highly recessive context of Argentina - is rapidly growing.
I am proud to be one of the mentors that supports these young students. My goal is to help them take what will probably be the most significant step of their lives with assurance and confidence. I trust I will also help them find a job according to their interests and capabilities in this beautiful technological ecosystem.
Technology can impact the lives of thousands of people and it has the power to have a positive impact on social issues. I believe that with technology, we can make the world a better place."
Over the last decade, the software industry in Argentina grew more than 300 percent, creating a fast-growing demand for technological profiles. The pandemic triggered a boom in e-commerce and the workforce is struggling to adjust to a demand that grows exponentially. This opens extraordinary opportunities to get well-paid jobs in a thriving sector. According to the income survey conducted by Cessi (Argentinian Software Chamber), the average salary of an IT professional doubles the average wage.
In November 2021 we launched IntegrarTEC, a scholarship for a 25-week intensive training in FullStack Programming. The number of applications we received indicates that many young and very poor Argentinians understand that the IT sector is an extraordinary window of opportunity to rise out of poverty. IntegrarTEC will provide them with the technical and employability skills best suited to finding a good job. The program will follow our tested methodology: it will be mentor-based and will benefit from the knowledge accumulated during the last 15 years of experience supporting students and preparing them for the workforce.
We expect technology to be a major driver of post-COVID employment, particularly in our country, stricken by a severe economic and political crisis. 60 percent of Argentinian children live in poverty, and youth employment is the highest in the Latin-American region. Despite the high demand for IT profiles, aspiring developers often face social barriers because of their ethnicity or economic circumstances. To help our graduates find stable jobs at competitive salaries, we are building a network of alliances with several Argentinean IT firms. We are proud to announce that we signed an Agreement of mutual cooperation with Polo IT Buenos Aires, the cluster of software companies from Buenos Aires city.
As of today, March 11, 72 applicants are undergoing the last step of the selection process. We expect that 40 to 50 will effectively start the training by the end of the month.
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