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Digital Connectors Technology and Leadership Program

Digital Connectors Technology and Leadership Program

Eden Housing, Inc.

Program Summary

Eden Housing is proposing a summer youth program as an extension of our successful Digital Connectors Technology and Leadership program. Now in its eighth year, this program promotes digital literacy, youth leadership, community service and the development of educational resource tools. We will recruit 35 at-risk youth from the ages of 14-19 from our affordable housing communities in San Jose, Hayward, San Leandro, Hercules, Pinole and Fremont — with fully equipped computer labs available on-site. The youth will develop a training module and presentation (or social toolkit) covering Internet safety and preparedness, online privacy and protocols, virus protection, safe use of social media and other web safety related topics.

Once created, the social toolkit can be used across Eden’s portfolio of affordable housing to educate residents of all ages. We have successfully used this model as part of our green education initiative where youth created short videos on water and energy conservation. Additionally, as part of our annual National Night Out celebration on August 6th, the youth will share their work at a resource table and/or in the form of a media presentation. This is an opportunity for youth to practice public speaking and to educate other community members about online safety. National Night Out will take place on August 6th, to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, and neighborhood camaraderie. This will be the first time that online safety will be included in the event. Last year we hosted large National Night Out events in San Jose and San Leandro, with close to 400 community members participating at each location. We held smaller events in Hercules, Hayward and Pinole with approximately 75 community members at each location. This year we plan to increase participation by promoting the event more widely at all of our local housing sites.

Agenda

Eden Housing’s Digital Connectors Technology and Leadership program serves economically disadvantaged youth, ages 14-19. This program bridges the digital divide often found in low-income and minority communities, and promotes student achievement with measurable results. Youth gain an understanding of the quickly expanding realm of technology and are able to explore college and career choices in the fields of technology, telecommunications and the digital arts, helping to pave the way for high school completion, college education and employment.

The summer program will take place in July and August, 2013, with the following timeline / agenda:

End of June – July 5
Youth recruitment will take place during community resident meetings, and through the use of flyers, a brochure and social media. Additionally, prior participants have been helpful in recruitment as well – reaching peers through word-of-mouth.

July 8-19
Youth participants will receive a comprehensive training about web safety and preparedness, online privacy/protocols, virus protection, safe use of social media and other related topics. They will also experience hands-on training in video technology/editing, photography, and digital storytelling.

July 22 – August 2
The youth will develop content for a training module and presentation (safety toolkit) covering what they have learned about social media tools, Internet safety and privacy, and creating an online culture of kindness, respect and safety. The toolkit will include written materials and a short video clip or PowerPoint presentation.

August 5-9 (National Night Out, August 6)
Youth will share the pilot of their online safety training/presentation with community members at National Night Out on August 6th. This event promotes crime prevention, police-community partnerships, and neighborhood community building. We anticipate nearly 1,500 community members of all ages will attend the event at six affordable housing communities in San Jose, Hayward, San Leandro, Hercules, Pinole and Fremont.

August 12-30
Based upon feedback at the National Night Out event, youth will further develop their online safety toolkit, to be used with other Eden Housing programs throughout the year.

September – ongoing
Youth who continue the program will use the safety toolkit in their community service work as part of our Generation Exchange program, connecting the young and the young-at-heart. Seniors learn basic computer skills and how to use the Internet, and youth apply their leadership skills. Additionally, Eden Housing is launching a new Communities Wired! program to educate and inspire affordable housing residents to utilize broadband to improve their social, health, educational and financial well-being. The safety toolkit will be integrated into this initiative as well. In addition to promoting our safety toolkit internally, we will also share with outside entities such as our network of grantees associated with our Communities Wired! program and other program partners such as the Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA.

Youth in this program develop essential life skills in problem solving, teamwork, public speaking, presentation, writing, cultural understanding, networking and time management. They gain an understanding of the quickly expanding realm of technology and explore college and career choices in the fields of technology, telecommunications and the digital arts. Ultimately, they become leaders in their schools, families and communities.

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