Minnesota Computers for Schools and 30,000 Feet Support Local Youth Affected by the Digital Divide with $40,000 in Grants from the AT&T Foundation

The grants will help two organizations focused on helping Twin Cities youth with limited internet access

As part of AT&T’s recently announced nationwide commitment to help bridge the digital divide and homework gap, the AT&T Foundation is granting a total of $40,000 to two organizations focused on helping Twin Cities youth with limited internet access.

A $20,000 AT&T Foundation grant to Minnesota Computers for Schools will support the “Tech for Teens” STEM program. This program offers no-cost STEM exploration, IT certifications, and computer programming to youth with limited to no computer or internet access at the East Side Boys and Girls Club in Saint Paul. Youth at the East Side Boys and Girls Club come from diverse low-income households and do not have access to extracurricular STEM learning opportunities.

“Our Tech for Teens program not only helps students without internet access gain critical skills and improve academic scores, but it also helps spark early interest in future careers in the growing STEM industry,” said Tamara Gillard, Executive Director of Minnesota Computers for Schools. “This AT&T Foundation grant will help us as we introduce STEM concepts and careers to our youth in need.”

Minnesota Computers for School is working to close the digital divide in Minnesota. Based in Minneapolis, the nonprofit’s mission is to create digital equity to students in need by partnering with schools and educational organizations to provide technology access, STEM programming, and IT workforce development in underserved communities.

A $20,000 AT&T Foundation grant to 30,000 Feet will support the Black Tech Geeks computer science apprenticeship program. Black Tech Geeks is a youth apprenticeship program that helps youth involved in the juvenile justice system who have fallen behind in school due to limited internet access. The program provides employment opportunities with the goal of placing Black youth in computer science careers. Program participants are youth living below the poverty line and who are on probation with Ramsey County.

“Our dream is to empower African American students in Saint Paul through culture, art, technology and social justice,” said Kevin Robinson, Executive Director of 30,000 Feet. “Black Tech Geeks is an innovative youth apprenticeship program that reduces recidivism and connects Black youth to computer science careers. This grant from the AT&T Foundation will help us in our mission to lead our Black youth and families toward a better tomorrow.”

The mission of 30,000 Feet is to advance the academic success of African American youth and families through culturally responsive arts and tech education, social emotional learning, and African American history and culture.

“Under-resourced neighborhoods have been hit particularly hard. AT&T is proud to support these Twin Cities organizations working to close the digital divide and promote academic success for our students in need.”

Paul Weirtz — President, AT&T Minnesota

“The pandemic has heightened the challenges faced by the millions of K-12 students nationwide who currently lack the connectivity needed for online learning,” said Paul Weirtz, President of AT&T Minnesota. “Under-resourced neighborhoods have been hit particularly hard. AT&T is proud to support these Twin Cities organizations working to close the digital divide and promote academic success for our students in need.”

AT&T is committing more than $2 billion over the next 3 years to bridge the digital divide through affordable broadband offers for both consumers and education institutions, as well as high quality educational resources and community investment through AT&T Connected Learning, a program to connect students to skills, resources, and opportunities for success in school and in life.

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