The Brownsville Independent School District received 500 backpacks filled with school supplies from SpaceX and PBI — a construction company that is working for SpaceX — that will be delivered this week for those students who are in most need as the 2021-2022 school year kicks off Tuesday.

Michael Rourk from PBI said the company does work all over the country and they like to give back to the communities they work for, especially students because they know the importance of education. PBI is currently building the 500-foot tall tower for the SpaceX rocket complex at the Boca Chica Beach facility, Rourk said.

“We do work pretty much all over the country,” he said. “Whenever we get in an area and we are here for a little while, we like to contribute back to the community that we are serving. We don’t come here to do a job and leave, we want to leave a lasting impact.

“This is one way that we feel that we could help out all the children, give them some inspiration. So that they know that there are people out there that care about their education.”

Rosalva Larrasquitu, director for parent and family engagement at BISD, said the partnership means that the whole community is in this together, helping each other to get ready for the new school year. She said BISD has been fortunate in receiving all the donations from this partnership and others.

“We are all in this together, and that’s what this partnership means,” Larrasquito said. “Not only collaborating within the district, with each other in different departments and with different programs but involving the community and having those strong partnerships together so that we can meet the needs of our children.

“We are very fortunate. This is not a one-time, they have reassured us that their intent is making sure that letting our community and our families know in BISD that they’re not alone and that there are folks in the community that are willing to help.”

Daniela Lopez Valdez, board member of BISD, said she is very excited to start this 2021-2022 school year while making sure every student is safe.

The Brownsville Independent School District held a press conference on Monday where they received 500 backpacks filled with school supplies from PBI and SpaceX. By Nubea Reyna, The Brownsville Herald

“We are doing everything to make sure that all of the staff and the children are going to be safe,” Lopez Valdez said. “I’m really excited about this backpack event because we just want to make sure that everybody has what they need.

“With this new mask mandate, we are going to make sure and we are going to stand up to our governor to make sure that our children are safe. Safety is number one.”

Superintendent Rene Gutierrez said the backpacks will make a great impact for those students who need it the most and said the timing of the donation is perfect since school starts this week.

“It will be beneficial for our students and thank you for thinking of us, thank you for engaging and getting involved with the Brownsville community,” he said.  “Coming from the outside and starting to do some work, and then this is the way you want to give back … it is greatly and deeply appreciated.”

[email protected]