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A new Virtual Reality (VR) has been started at Whitehorse High School, in Navajo, Utah, which will enable the students to get trained in the latest VR technology and entrepreneurship skills. Indigo Impact Initiative (I3), a Colorado-based nonprofit providing at-risk youth with mentorship in technology, along with two high-tech companies—Lobaki Inc. and ClearCenter Inc.—are the major backers of the centre.

Whitehorse school Principal Kim Schaefer said that students, whom she calls “scholars,” will be certified in Virtual Reality (VR) technology and entrepreneurship, to reward a new generation with successful jobs and careers without leaving their families, rural reservation, and community.

“Kids think that when they graduate, they will make money, but at the same time they’re thinking about being home,” said Ramsey Seweingyawma, math and coding teacher at Whitehorse High School. “But there are no jobs here.”

Whitehorse Student Kyle tries out VR Technology

The centre will offer courses that will give students hands-on experience in storyboarding, app development, networking, design, and programming.

“Bringing Virtual Reality and programming tools into our district will create generations of students with new and marketable skills,” said Aaron Brewer, Director of Technology for San Juan School District.

Kit Mantz, Secondary Schools Supervisor and CTE Director for San Juan County added, “The most important part of this programme is that it could potentially create new jobs locally so that our scholars would not have to leave our communities and county to find employment opportunities that pay well.”

The VR centres are being set up and managed by Lobaki, a social enterprise from Jackson, MS. Spending on VR globally is currently greater than $13 billion, and is expected to significantly increase in the next decade, with career opportunities spiking as a result.