P&G Partners with Lakota on Te Da La Mano Program

P&G Partners with Lakota on ‘Te Da La Mano Program’
Posted on 02/09/2021
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collage about Te Da La Mano Program“As I have moved through my journey, people gave me guidance and help,” said P&G’s Hector Brignoni. “I learned that they were giving me a hand to help and that is exactly what I would like to do.”

A new program called P&G Te Da La Mano (“P&G Gives You A Hand”) is designed to do just that. This new partnership between P&G and Lakota is aimed at providing Hispanic students with technical knowledge and mentoring to help make decisions to shape their futures.

“When we learned about Lakota schools and Somos Lakota and the 4 E’s, we were really impressed,” said Brignoni, who works in Baby Care Packaging and was instrumental in developing the program. “Especially the mission statement that Lakota wants to provide a future ready, student-centered learning experience for every single student. That’s something that resonates with the principles, the values and purpose of P&G.”

The P&G Te Da La Mano program includes monthly ‘Tech Connects’ that cover types of Associate Researcher jobs in R & D as well as topics like Products Research, Product Development and Process Development. To bring these topics to life, P&G provides take home kits with technical activities that students can do at home. Overall, the program works to identify students with an interest and aptitude for science and technology and offer opportunities for apprenticeship. “Our teams need to deeply understand and reflect the unique and culturally relevant insights of the diverse range of customers,” said P&G’s Anna Mancha-Ramirez.

Monthly ‘Mentor Connects’ are also a key component of the program, pairing senior students with a professional mentor for smaller group discussions about future plans. “Mentoring is perhaps the most important part of the program,” said Germara Villalongo Andino who works in P&G’s Personal Health Care R & D.

“P&G has been exceptionally flexible and wonderful, working very hard for our students,” said Katie Bauer, Lakota’s Strategic Partnerships Coordinator. “They have made adjustment after adjustment, working to pivot to our needs to make this program a reality. The original concept of having tours, on-site sessions, field trips, and co-ops has turned into virtual sessions and mentoring.”

The program kicked off Jan. 20-22 with an introduction, the history of innovation at P&G, and the first Tech Connect session. Teachers nominated the 35 East and West students in grades 10-12 taking part in the program; sessions are held during XH time so there is no disruption to instruction. Lakota’s ESL teachers have also assisted in getting the program up and running.

Students are already seeing the benefit of being involved in P&G Te Da La Mano. VLO student Gabe Guyler said his favorite part so far was meeting his mentor, Marcos Rodriguez. “I wanted to join the P&G Mentorship program because I feel that it is something that can help me learn and grow. I can learn about what is expected of me when working a technical job and what steps are needed to get the job.”

West senior Jonathan Santiago has enjoyed “being able to meet nice people and getting a lot of insight from P&G workers.”

This year’s virtual P&G Te Da La Mano program is just the beginning. “This is just phase one of seeing what we can build with the program,” said Bauer.