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The Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County is among the many organizations that are making a meaningful difference in the community and were supported by the Comcast Foundation this year.
“Today’s young people are digital natives, born into a world where technology is ever-present and constantly changing. In order to ensure great futures for all our youth, it is our job to keep up to date with technology,” said Joe Ingoglia, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County “Comcast has been supporting our kids through a great program called Digital Connectors for several years. Currently we have 16 kids at our Tumwater Club who will graduate at the end of the program with Cisco certifications, EverFi financial training, and the technological acumen needed to remain competitive in an ever-evolving, digitally-driven workforce.”
Here’s a list of the 2014 recipients:
Bremerton: Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound | Bremerton Teen Center
Comcast is the tech sponsor for this facility, opened in October 2013. The teen center provides a safe place for youth and the mentoring and guidance of adults in a positive environment.
The teen center is also part of a campus, located on a former school property, that will include a variety of services for the community. Comcast was proud to commit a total of $45,000 to the center, spread out over three years.
Kirkland: Imagine Housing | Technology Access
This fall, Comcast began a proud, new partnership with a nonprofit organization that provides housing for people in need. Imagine Housing opened its 13th property, Velocity, a 58-unit, affordable housing apartment building in Kirkland, WA that serves low-income families, individuals transitioning from homelessness and persons living with disabilities.
A grant from the Comcast Foundation provides residents with a computer lab, laptop lending library and engaging and informative video displays. By reducing the barrier to technology, its residents will have access to the latest information on potential jobs, trainings and services. They will be able to access information on public transportation options and community resources. Additionally, children will have access to computers for class projects, homework and other enrichment activities. http://imaginehousing.org/
Lynnwood: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County | Beyond School Walls program
Comcast and the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County have partnered again this school year as a part of the Beyond Schools Walls program. Volunteer Comcast employees from the Lynnwood regional office serve as “Bigs” to “Littles” they’ve been matched with through the program. Once a month, the “Littles” – all from nearby Woodside Elementary –meet with their Comcast “Bigs” for lunch and fun bonding activities.
The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters is to provide children facing social, economic and/or educational adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships with supportive adult mentors. http://www.bbbs-snoco.org
Olympia: YWCA of Olympia | Comcast Learning Lab
The YWCA helps women overcome the obstacles of poverty and unemployment. In the Comcast Learning Lab, women are giving access to hands-on technology and job training, weekly skill-building classes focused on executive functioning and soft skills and unique career oriented networking and wellness events that boost confidence and connections. http://ywcaofolympia.org/
Including the support in Washington, The Comcast Foundation has donated more than $18 million in 2014 to nonprofit organizations in the communities it serves nationwide. In addition to the grants from the Comcast Foundation, Comcast also responds to community needs through local sponsorships and in-kind support, such as airing public service announcements, employee volunteerism, and providing technology equipment and services to organizations across the country.
Seattle: Asian Counseling and Referral Service | API Young Women’s Film Program
The Asian Counseling and Referral Services’ API Young Women’s Film Program will foster the well-being and empowerment of API (Asian Pacific Islander) young women by increasing their digital literacy and leadership skills, cultural connectedness and self-esteem. Documentary filmmaking is a powerful tool for learning about and sharing experiences and histories, not often seen in mainstream media. The program will help participants uncover their own family stories and give them opportunities to voice their own unique experiences.
Through presentations of their final product, participants will increase their cultural connectedness and self-esteem by sharing their stories with others to educate, inspire and promote positive youth experiences and the importance of understanding and connecting with one’s cultural roots and heritage. http://acrs.org/
Seattle: El Centro de la Raza | Digital Connectors Program
The Comcast Digital Connectors (CDC) program is a youth development program that focuses on digital literacy where students become proficient in basic computer skills, applications and use of the Internet. CDC engages teens and young adults, ages 14-21, in leadership development, digital education, life skills management and community service. By learning and involving themselves in their respective communities, taking field trips and hearing from emerging leaders, youth are able to hone technical competencies and grasp lifelong principles that inspire educational advancement and workforce preparation.
During this 2014-2015 school year, the Comcast Digital Connectors program will be held at El Centro de la Raza, located on Beacon Hill in Seattle. Program participants commit to provide 56 hours of community service within that year and outreach to their social network to share the benefits of broadband access to increase one’s quality of life. http://www.elcentrodelaraza.org
Seattle: Technology Access Foundation | STEMUp Program
In 2013, there were 25,000 unfilled jobs in Washington due to a lack of qualified candidates — 80 percent of those jobs included the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), according to a Washington Round Table report. In 2009, only 20 percent of black and Hispanic adults in the country had a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The Technology Access Foundation and Comcast want to ensure that with Washington’s booming STEM economy, kids of color and low-income kids are not left out of this pipeline. Comcast supports STEM Up, TAF’s after-school, STEM enrichment program for middle school students that runs throughout the school year. In the program, students explore engineering and computer science through robotics and video game development. A project-based approach to learning for the students encourages critical life skills such as information synthesis, problem-solving, communication and self-confidence. http://www.techaccess.org/
Seattle: Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle | Career Bridge Mobile Lab
Career Bridge was created to connect African American men and other men of color who experience multiple barriers of employment, education, and training, to jobs and other necessary support. The Career Bridge Program model brings together workforce training, social services, as well as grassroots community support networks, in order to provide a relevant and comprehensive approach to assist participants attain the abilities and skills needed to achieve short-term economic and personal stability.
Through this grant provided by Comcast, Urban League of Seattle will develop a Career Bridge Mobile Lab, aimed to support the men who have completed the 50 hour program. The mobile lab will allow participants to continue their search for employment opportunities, use technology for online trainings, seek out services to stabilize their family situation, develop resume’s and cover letters, etc.
Tacoma: Tacoma Urban League | Comcast Digital Connectors
The Tacoma Urban League has hosted this youth program longer than any Washington State site; this will be the sixth year of Digital Connectors youth in Tacoma. The program is held at a tech lab hosted by the School of The Arts in downtown Tacoma. Students receive digital literacy training and then put into practice the technical expertise they’ve gained by volunteering at various community-based organizations, senior centers, churches, and even their own homes. They learn how to network computer labs, connect wireless access points, design computer training modules and create social media projects. http://thetacomaurbanleague.org/
Tumwater: Boys and Girls Clubs of Thurston County | Comcast Digital Connectors
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County have been longtime supporters of Comcast Digital Connectors, in which students, for two afternoons a week, learn about digital technology and life skills such as personal finance. They also volunteer in the community. For four years, the program has been at the Lacey clubhouse; this year the club decided to host the program for a different set of youth in Tumwater. http://www.bgctc.org/tumwater-club.php
Spokane: Northeast Community Center | Youth and Adult Learners Technology Center
The Northeast Community Center provides access to services that encourage families to become and remain self-sufficient as a part of its mission to improve the quality of life of families, especially those living in poverty. With a new technology lab in a newly renovated space, the center will be able to host everything from a middle school homework club to classes for adults seeking to improve their education or achieve high school equivalency. http://necca.myspokane.net/thanks.html
For these and other community efforts, for the second consecutive year Comcast NBCUniversal was recognized as one of America’s most community-minded companies by The Civic 50, an annual initiative that identifies and recognizes companies for their commitment to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business. The company also ranked first among its communications industry peers. Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, conducted the survey in partnership with Bloomberg LP. The Civic 50 was created in 2012 to measure corporate civic engagement and recognize companies that incorporate socially responsible practices and community leadership into their culture.
About the Comcast Foundation
The Comcast Foundation was founded by Comcast Corporation in June 1999 to provide charitable support to qualified non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact on their communities. The Foundation has three community investment priorities—promoting service, expanding digital literacy, and building tomorrow’s leaders. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated nearly $158 million to organizations in the communities nationwide that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/community.