LAS CRUCES – When the crew from We Are IT troubleshoots your technical problems, the service goes beyond saving your data.
The information technology company was founded in 2015 by the local nonprofit organization, Ngage New Mexico, which aims to improve the well-being of all people in southern New Mexico, partially through educational programs in the county.
Operating as a for-profit business that offers a wide range of tech solutions; website development, design and updating; as well as web hosting and graphic design, We Are IT donates a portion of its profits back to Ngage NM and the SUCCESS Partnership to support education initiatives in the county, spanning prenatal to career readiness.
“Basically, every dollar spent with us is a dollar going back into the community, into Doña Ana County,” said Sommer Mitchell, lead operations coordinator and graphic designer for the company.
But the business’ mission is like any other, offering high-quality information technology support services to businesses and nonprofits in the region.
“We specialize in all things IT, hardware and software,” Mitchell said. “We fix computers. We build computers. We fix phones and game consoles. We do graphic design, web design, web maintenance, networking, data back-up, virus removal, training and staff development, and archive old photos. There’s not a lot we don’t do. We’re just like any other business. We service individuals, for profit and nonprofit businesses.”
What sets the company apart, aside from highly-trained technical staff, is the fact every extra dollar is funneled back into Ngage New Mexico, supporting that group’s efforts.
“That is the reason we were created … so we could turn a profit and make Ngage more sustainable to carry out their many initiatives — early childhood education being one of the big ones right now,” Mitchell said.
The group recently received a McCune Foundation grant to help 10 local nonprofits, providing not only services but also equipment to operate their organizations.
“We bought them equipment, whether it be computers, hardware, more memory, getting networking set up in their office, and gave actual hours to 10 local nonprofits,” Mitchell said. “That was a really great way for us to kick-start getting our name out there.”
The Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, Southern New Mexico Diabetes Outreach, CASA, Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club, NM Café, Children’s Reading Alliance, Empowerment Congress and El Caldito all benefited from the grant and We Are IT’s efforts.
“Aside from our exceptional services, we are dedicated to helping the community,” Mitchell said. “That’s our gold star.”
Doña Ana County suffers from poverty and from people not realizing what resources are available to help alleviate the challenges that brings, Mitchell said. And, too often, people who can work to make the situation better instead leave the state.
The business’ goal is supporting community efforts in “educating people about how they can build brains for our community and providing resources to parents so they can essentially have the tools to help their children succeed in the long run,” Mitchell said.
One of the nonprofits helped by We Are IT was the Children’s Reading Alliance, which has a huge outreach and several programs geared toward raising money to give books to children and teaching parents they are their children’s first teacher.
“High school graduation has a direct correlation to how well a child can read at third grade, how many words they know,” Mitchell said. “These are direct correlations and we are trying to bring public awareness that we can help our community. A kid needs to start learning, almost immediately. It is important these kids know things before they go to school and these parents know how to give their children the best chance at life.”
A new area into which We Are IT is expanding is the archiving of old photos. They plan a “Computer and Cocktails” event from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 14 at the Community Action Agency building 3880 Foothills Rd. The event will focus on three areas on instruction — getting cyber secure, getting website wisdom, and getting fabulous photos.
The public is invited to bring old photos to be digitized and to bring computers to the workshop, which will by a mixer where We Are IT representatives will be on-hand to offer help for computer problems and to provide technical advice on all things technical.
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