On 3/7/2017, Mark Grayson gave an overview presentation about the Texas 21 Project being piloted by his company and the Magnolia Independent School Distict (MISD). Pictured above is Mark Grayson.
Mark Grayson is the eldest son of Tom Grayson who is a member of the Magnolia Rotary Club. He graciously agreed to provide the overview to our club.
Mark Grayson started his presentation by providing a little background. He explained that "Rocket 21" is a specialized vertical networking platform designed to safely connect Gen Z (Generation after Gen X) youth with professionals and experts representing industries, professions, passions, and movements that span the globe. "Rocket 21" gives youth the power to discover their futures, by exploring their interests and passions through creative collaborations with world-class organizations and leading experts. "Rocket 21" is specific to the United States at this time but has the ability to spread world wide as opportunities present themselves.
In Texas, the Texas legislation has created challenges for Texas school districts, and a window of opportunity for Rocket 21 and potential corporate partners. At the urging of key legislators, the Company has developed an online career exploration curriculum for middle schoolers, "Texas 21", that aligns to state and national standards. The program was introduced to classrooms during the Fall of 2016, and is being expanded during the Spring of 2017 with funding provided by HEB, a privately held grocery chain (with $23 billion in sales annually, and highly regarded for its education innovation). Leveraging its experience in engaging deeply with Gen Z students and connecting them with real world organizations, brands, and professionals, they are currently coodinating a rollout across the state of Texas in the Fall of 2017. MISD has plans to pilot the program in the Spring of 2017. MISD was one of the Texas school districts choosen to pilot the program due to efforts by our own Texas Legislator, Cecil Bell and local school administrators.
"Texas 21" is an education and career planning online platform designed specifically for student in Texas. It provides 21 "Challenges" that enable students to discover their passions, connect with real world mentors, and develop a Personal Graduation Plan in 21 fun project based challenges. It also contains 7 interactive tools which include:
  1. An Interest Ring App - contains 100 question career assessments that link to 16 different career clusters and HB5 (Texas House Bill 5) endorsements, as well as creating a custom interest map.
  2. A Global Pursuit System - connects interests with related jobs or opportunities and connects students to professionals from various fields.
  3. A Virtual Me Avatar Creator - a fun way for students to visually represent their interests, hopes and dreams.
  4. The Dream App - allows students to create and declare their dream statement and share it with teachers and mentors.
  5. A Dynamic Curriculm - allows for the creation of a) a "Career Exploration" credit option, b) a "Personal Graduation Plan (PGP) implementation for students transitioning from junior high school/middle school to high school, and c) a flexible on-line delivery system available 24/7.
  6. A Secure and Safe Connection - a) a certified COPPA compliant through the PRIVP Privacy Assurance Program, and b) a protected and monitored interaction with mentors and students.
  7. A Cost Effective Program - a) allows 24/7 access for junior high school and high school students, b) a multi-year student platform access after initial student account activation.
Mark then spoke to pricing by stating that an annual license for a school campus will be $1,750 plus an annual $200 license for every group of 200 students. Their were many good questions and suggestions which Mark answered and listen too.
Some photos from the program are below (pictures show involvement by Prisident Jimmy Carter, Richard Branson, and Ted Turner):