MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A local organization is helping local graduates get a technical leg-up on their futures.
The Women's Foundation of Greater Memphis and their partners gave nearly 100 computer laptops and wi-fi devices to graduates at Booker To. Washington High School Tuesday. The students also received $100 gift certificates.
Because of COVID-19, 25 seniors at a time got their gifts while practicing social distancing.
This is just one of the many ways the Women's Foundation has supported the local community during this pandemic.
(NEWS RELEASE) - The Booker T. Washington High School 2020 graduating seniors receive laptop computers, WIFI devices, and $100 gift cards from the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM) and their partners today and tomorrow at ER2 in South City. The laptop distribution is part of WFGM’s 38126 Digital Inclusion Plan in partnership with Comcast, FedEx, Nike, Start Co., Urban Strategies, Inc., CodeCrew, and The Links Incorporated Shelby County (TN) Chapter.
The WFGM 38126 Digital Inclusion Plan in South City is a phased approach to address the digital divide in one of the poorest zip codes in Memphis. More than 55% of households in 38126 lack access to the internet or a computer. These resources will empower the graduating seniors as they pursue their post-secondary education, career and employment goals.
“Comcast Internet Essentials is committed to bridging the digital divide; and, supporting the Women's Foundation of Greater Memphis' efforts of providing students leadership-development opportunities, access to digital technology and digital literacy training,” said Evangeline Parker-Guest, Comcast External Affairs Manager.
Each student will receive one week of computer coding training from CodeCrew and Start Co. as well as a new backpack and a $100 gift card to purchase school supplies for the fall semester.
“We’re so grateful to have The Women’s Foundation of a Greater Memphis as an adopter! BTW’s 2020 graduates experienced a senior year that was less than expected, and life as they know it changed quickly. Our graduates are now transitioning into a society that is far more dependent on technology, and unfortunately many of them were not equipped”, said Tara Harris, Principal of Booker T. Washington School. “The Women’s Foundation saw an opportunity to level the playing field and help close that digital divide for our students. By providing each of our graduates with a device, Wi-Fi, and a jump start on entrepreneurship, job training, and intro to coding classes, they now have a jumpstart on their post-secondary plans.”
WFGM collaborated with other community organizations to create a comprehensive approach to meet the critical technology and case-management needs of our families in South City “We are very grateful to our community partners who helped to develop the WFGM 38126 Digital Inclusion Plan,“ said Ruby Bright, WFGM President and CEO. “Today’s distribution is part of the Phase One implementation, and we look forward to each student’s success and expanding the project in the fall.”
Since 2015, this community has been a major focus of the Women’s Foundation’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan to reduce poverty and improve the overall economic well-being of families living in South City.