For Immediate Release


Task Force Seeks to Support Students with Devices To Continue Their Education


(El Paso, TX) – June 2, 2020– After the sudden closure and the uncertainty on a definite timeline to reconvene schools due to COVID-19, over 1,500 students are facing the challenge of not being able to complete their coursework remotely. This digital divide is a pressing concern as it not only affects our region’s ability to remain economically competitive but presents detrimental implications for the academic and professional future of our community. 


A group of local leaders has formed a Device Shortage Task Force, to collectively seek innovative strategies that swiftly help connect students with laptop devices to alleviate the Borderplex region’s digital divide. Enclosed below are two strategies the taskforce is actively preparing to deploy.


Strategy 1: Company Legacy Refurbish Initiative

Companies or individuals with an excess of functional laptops can refurbish and donate new or used functional laptops (with an Intel i3 processors or better) to families in need. Donations can be made at


Strategy 2: Laptop Donation Fund

STTE has set up a dedicated fund with the Paso Del Norte Community Foundation to help fund strategies and purchase devices for students in need. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made at


Device Shortage Task Force Members


JJ Childress, Texas Techspark Community Manager, Microsoft
Marycruz De Leon, Community Development, Federal Reserve Bank
Ivan Huerta, Founder, Parabeac
Rosey Natividad, Founder, Incite Consultancy
Francisco Poblano, Assistant. VP IT Department, UTEP
Victor Sanchez, Recruitment Specialist, Western Tech
Joseph Sapien, Executive Director, STTE
Rick Webb, Dean, El Paso Community College


Leadership Quotes

“I joined this initiative because I worry about our students not having the needed tools to complete their academic work.” Francisco Poblano, UTEP VP, IT Department.

“There is a huge need to find devices for students. With the uncertainty when schools will reconvene, the time is now to act and help ease the potential of a virtual learning gap.” Joseph Sapien, STTE executive director.


Media can contact the Device Shortage Taskforce by emailing Joseph Sapien, STTE Executive Director, or by calling  (915) 240-5571.


For more information on the Device Shortage Task Force please visit