Families experiencing homelessness are what prompted Denver, CO high school student Angela Foote to really think about the power of technology.
Angela, who grew up volunteering for Family Promise of Greater Denver, witnessed firsthand the impact of homelessness on teenagers and noticed one of the many challenges teens and their families faced was a lack of technology.
“I rely on technology every day,” explains Angela. “I saw that families couldn’t afford computers. I wondered how homeless kids managed in school without a computer.”
Family Promise Affiliates provide shared computers in their Day Centers, where case management and other services take place. But after hours, when the Day Centers are closed, families rarely have access to computers of their own.
An active Girl Scout, Angela decided to address this issue for her Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. She discovered Tech for All (T4A), a local nonprofit that refurbishes and donates computers to qualified individuals in the community, and sought their help developing the Computers for All program.
Through the program, T4A offers computers to a maximum of five Family Promise families each week – one laptop for every family member – and makes any necessary repairs at no cost. T4A also provides families with one-on-one computer training. In the first few months 102 individuals have received computers, and that number grows each week.
Family Promise Office and Volunteer Coordinator Miriam Rosenblum has seen lives transformed.
“Recently, a mom used her computer to find a full-time job,” says Miriam. “And her daughters can now do their homework at home. One was even awarded ‘most improved eighth grader’!”
Angela is glad families are being helped and says her project has affected her, as well.
“Those kids have to deal with challenges I could never imagine,” she says. “I want their lives to be a little easier.”