Affirming YOUth Foundation Opens its New Computer Tech After-School Experience Lab To Service Miami-Dade Students In The Edison And Little River Communities.
By Yvette N. Harris
Affirming YOUth Foundation has been providing assistance in the community even before they officially opened their doors this past Saturday. The grand opening was hosted by WHQT Hot 105, radio personality Shelby Rushin, and started with a musical presentation by the Miami Northwestern Marching Band. Attendees included Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, District School Board of Miami-Dade County, representatives from both the City of Miami, Chairman Keon Hardemon, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson’s office.
Affirming YOUth also distributed over 200 backpacks with school supplies. Speakers for the day included Dr.Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Board Representative- District 2, Ms. Adrian Rogers, Principal of Liberty City Elementary School, Pastor Joaquin Willis, Pastor Robert Stephens III, Jonathan Taylor, a student at Miami Jackson Senior High School. Music was provided by Saxophonist Jon Saxx. Cristal Cole, from AT&T, presented a check to the Affirming YOUth Foundation for $25,000.Lunch was provided by BME.
The Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)-TechKnowledgy Computer Lab officially opens when students return to school at the end of August. The lab will be instrumental in helping students who might not have computers at home with their homework. Students will also take part in digital strategies and techniques that assist in SEL. This SEL-lab will be the first of its kind in this community.
The Affirming YOUth Center will also help students with their social and emotional well-being by collaborating with students to develop strategies to deal with emotions in a healthy way. The programs will empower them to identify thoughts, beliefs, and assumptions that make life harder while assisting them to identify their strengths and build on them so they can feel better about him/herself and their life.
“We are so proud to work with AT&T in providing state-of-the-art technologies to help bridge the digital divide for our communities,” said Jonathan Spikes, Founder and Executive Director of Affirming YOUth. “The lab will be a valuable resource to the youth in the identified com-munities, especially as our youth prepare for college and 21st Century careers.
Affirming YOUth Foundation was selected by AT&T because of its robust educational programming and resource center that help youth develop social-emotional skills. The Lab will be stocked with desktops, printers, flat-screen television and movable furniture. Staff, volunteers and community partners will host technology classes, digital literacy workshops, STEM programs and open labs for state-of-the-art learning experiences.
“AT&T believes it is critical for students to have access to the tools and support systems they need to graduate, succeed in college or enter the workforce as they strive to reach their full potential,” said Cristal Cole, AT&T Florida external affairs. “We are proud to support community programming provided by organizations like the Affirming Youth Foundation, who help foster a safe environment where children can dream big and access the resources they need to be successful in life.”
Board President, Dr. Tangier Scott, lauded AT&T for its constant support of youth initiatives and providing resources for closing the digital divide.
“Today’s youth must be tech savvy to compete for jobs in the global economy,” Scott said. “I’m elated and excited that Affirming YOUth and AT&T are collaborating to create amazing educational opportunities for our youth to succeed now, and for years to come.”
To learn more about Affirming YOUth visit www.AffirmingYOUth.org.
Affirming YOUth Foundation
Affirming Youth Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organi–zation with the vision to curate safe spaces for youth to express their feelings and navigate life’s experiences. Affirming YOUth Foundation’s mission is to em-power youth to transform their lives through psychological,