Nine winners of the city’s $150,000 Grants for Technology Opportunities Program will be awarded April 27 at 1 p.m. in the city hall conference room.
The city of Austin and the Austin Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission will present the awards to the organizations that connect the public with information technology, computers and the Internet.
“[The program] enables local organizations to leverage technology in novel ways,” Commission Chair Chip Rosenthal said. “Its achievements are remarkable and a tribute to the innovation and community spirit of Austin.”
Some projects include providing adults with disabilities specialized computer work stations to facilitate Web job searches; basic computer training for refugees settling in Austin; and computer literacy for seniors to qualify for employment.
Nonprofits were required to submit applications by Dec. 7, 2009 and the commission completed final deliberations in February and voted last on winners last month. The group received a total 29 applications.
And the winners are:
- American YouthWorks, $24,700: The group is using the funding to support the Computer Corps program for youth, which combines computer repair training, refurbished computer distribution and a computer workshop series. Corps members will gain computer and life skills while providing a service to the community.
- Austin Academy, $7,000: The funding will provide help with instructor salaries for the Computer/Workplace Competency Program. The program provides evening courses to Austin’s working poor in the computer skills necessary to attain or improve employment.
- Austin Children’s Museum, $13,200: The funding will support TECLab, a multimedia after school program serving 6th graders at Mendez Middle School. The program will strengthen students’ creative problem solving skills by having students design projects that integrate computer programming with real world materials.
- Austin Groups for the Elderly, $15,000:The funding will support the Senior Tech Inclusion program which provides computer literacy for seniors in need of computer basics to qualify for employment, for access to information resources, and/or for inclusion in online communities.
- El Buen Samaritano, $16,000: The funding will support El Buen’s Computer Education program which provides access to computers and culturally competent computer skills training to underemployed, working poor Hispanic families. The goal of the program is to assist families in moving into higher paying jobs and out of the cycle of poverty.
- Girlstart, $20,000: The funding will support 15 full scholarships or up to 30 partial scholarships for 6th – 8th grade girls in need to Girlstart Summer Camp, designed to increase interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects and careers. Planned activities include game development, robotics, digital cartography, virtual dissection and more.
- Goodwill Industries of Central Texas, $15,700: With the support of the grant, Goodwill plans to continue “Technology 101″ vocationally oriented computer classes for people with disabilities. Leveraging existing assistive equipment, a Technology Skills Trainer will be made available to assist individuals and small groups.
- Latinitas, $15,400: The funding will support Latinitas in its adoption of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum module into its programs for young Latinas at Austin area schools, libraries and community center campuses. Programs include Club Latinitas after school programs, teen reporter intern program, online digital magazines, media and technology workshops and more.
- Multicultural Refugee Coalition, $23,000: The funding will support the Multicultural Refugee Coalition’s Computer Literacy Program which introduces basic computer skills to refugees from around the world settled in Austin.