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Comcast Sponsorship Turns White Center into Tech Center

Student competitors and onlookers gather for the robotics competition at TAF's Tech Expo on May 18.

Student competitors and onlookers gather for the robotics competition at TAF’s Tech Expo on May 18.

The White Center neighborhood on Seattle’s Southside may not be known as a mecca for the tech-savvy like the Eastside or South Lake Union, but on May 18, that all changed.

Comcast was the presenting sponsor of The Technology Access Foundation’s (TAF) annual Tech Expo. Five hundred attended the event for the stunning showcase of work by local students of color who call the White Center area home.

TAF is a locally-run, nonprofit leader in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, addressing, in their words, “three problems that keep students of color away from STEM: low expectations, a shortage of role models in STEM and lack of access to a quality, STEM-focused education.”

TAF’s Tech Expo highlights its work with youth through STEM preparedness programs and coursework in robotics, graphic design, video game design, and more. TAF believes exposing kids early on to STEM and following them from K-12 will increase their chances of success and opportunities historically out of reach for students of color.

“The Expo is a way for us to create a larger STEM community by showing kids and their parents that there are hundreds of other students in TAF programs that they can connect with now and in the future,” said TAF Executive Director and Co-Founder, Trish Millines Dziko.

Tucked away within White Center’s Lakewood Park, TAF’s new modern digs houses the hopes and dreams of 700 local youth. The building itself, called the Bethaday Community Learning Space, serves as an oasis for kids, some of whom are without access to Internet service at home – a major hurdle for students looking to break into the STEM world. Enter Comcast.

Comcast believes increasing broadband access among low-income residents – a cause the company has shifted its full weight behind – means partnering with organizations like TAF. The group’s unique and direct approach in bringing a STEM education to students of color is an invaluable component in addressing digital access and awareness of what technology can do to improve people’s lives.

Plus, partnering with a technology and media company like Comcast means cool prizes.

As the proud presenting sponsor, Comcast handed out Netbook laptops to the Grand Prize winners of the Expo’s robotics competition and backpacks full of school supplies to the second and third place winners.

“Having Comcast as a TAF Alliance partner brings our work to a whole new level and helps us bring much needed resources, beyond what TAF provides, to the community we serve,” said Millines Dziko. “We understand the importance of quality access to digital information and Comcast partners with us to ensure our families have the right tools at the right time.”

Comcast was proud to support the Expo, along with many other events this spring, and are committed to working with its partners, like TAF, to make every family’s home a mecca for the tech-savvy.

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This entry was posted on May 29, 2013 by in All News Releases.
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