By NASH NUNNERY
Comcast Corp. is helping conquer the great digital divide in Mississippi.
Last month, the global media and technology company awarded the Boys & Girls Club of Central Mississippi and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mississippi with $37,000 in grants to support technology and mentoring programs.
The grants, made through the Comcast Foundation, will benefit youth in the Jackson and Hattiesburg communities.
“These gifts are part of a nationwide effort on the behalf of the company to be involved in our communities,” said Alex Horwitz, Comcast vice president for media relations.
“We know kids need access to technology and the Comcast Foundation exists to provide assistance to communities around the nation.”
In the past 17 years, Comcast has awarded over $190 million to non-profits in the U.S. Over the next five years, the company is expected to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and roll out a new initiative called MyFuture, which aims to help youth embrace technology in the ever-expanding digital world.
The program is designed to empower children to communicate and create their own portfolios while earning digital badges for completing different components, including recording and editing their own music, and learning robotics and game design skills.
The Boys & Girls Club of Central Mississippi received a $20,000 MyFuture grant during December’s dedication of the new “Comcast Tech Lab” at the Sikes Unit in south Jackson. Club members provided live demonstrations of the MyFuture activities using the state-of-the-art equipment and technology provided to the Club.
“The program has received great reviews in Jackson and Atlanta, and changes the landscape of the classroom for these youngsters,” said Horwitz. “The Comcast Tech Lab allows underserved children who may not have access to technology to do their homework and other digital projects.”
The opportunity to broaden children’s educational horizons can’t be overstated, said Boys & Girls Club of Central Mississippi president Penney King.
“Technology is part of innovation and grounded in becoming what the world looks like,” said King. “With the support of Comcast, our Club members will develop the technology skills needed to pursue promising careers. We are extremely thankful to the company for investing in our member’s futures.”
The Comcast Foundation also presented a $17,000 grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mississippi. The gift will provide technology supplies, professional development training and educational materials to support mentoring programs in Jackson and Hattiesburg.
Comcast also provides low cost internet services to underserved families throughout the Jackson metropolitan area and beyond through the company’s Internet Essentials program. Launched in 2011, the program has grown to be the media giant’s largest and most successful community investment initiative, according to Horwitz.
Big Brothers Big Sisters state director Chris Burkett said the organization and its membership are grateful.
“This generous gift will ensure that more boys and girls benefit from the positive outcomes of one-to-one mentoring relationships,” he said.
“Comcast is a great partner both locally and nationally, and we appreciate their dedication to kids and families in our community.”
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