The Boys and Girls Club of America launched its My.Future technology initiative on Thursday at the Wayne Avenue Boys and Girls Club in Northwest Philadelphia.
A partnership between the 154-year-old community organization and Comcast NBCUniversal, the My.Future initiative provides new technology such as computers, laptops, smartboards, tablets, digital cameras and video editing equipment, as well as on-site renovations to Boys and Girls Clubs across the country.
To date, Comcast NBCUniversal has renovated Boys and Girls Clubs in Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
“We are proud to partner with Boys and Girls Clubs of America to teach youth about the endless possibilities that technology offers, while helping to bridge the digital divide,” said David L. Cohen, Comcast Corp.’s executive vice president.
Currently, there are more than 4,100 Boys and Girls Clubs serving nearly four million youths across the United States, with 13 of those clubs located right here in Philadelphia.
The five-year My.Future initiative provides Boys and Girls Club (BGCA) members with more than 40 technology applications that reinforce digital literacy through web exploration, communication and media.
“Today’s young people are digital natives, born into a world where technology is ever-present and constantly changing,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of BGCA. “In order to ensure great futures for all our youth, it is our job to keep up to date with technology and make sure it reaches the communities that need it the most.”
Thursday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony speeches from Cohen, Clark, Philadelphia BGCA co-CEO Lisabeth Marziello and Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass.
There was also a special guest appearance by “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks, who spoke to children about her experience working in a digital age and the importance of staying in school and getting a quality education.
“You are our future,” Sparks said. “You are what is going to propel us to the greatest heights.”
Wayne Avenue Boys and Girls Club members concluded the ceremony with tours and demonstrations of the My.Future initative.
As spectators walked through the newly renovated workspace, 8-year-old Lamont Whitley and 6-year old Soleil Kelsey were working with literacy supervisor Melanie Romano.
“We’re really excited to have laptops,” Whitley said.