The long-time organization known as Computers for Children has launched a major re-branding effort. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says it continues to expand its educational reach for students.
“We really just expanded immensely and it’s been a great adventure,” said Christine Carr, executive director, Mission: Ignite, powered by Computers for Children.
Mission: Ignite is the new name. Carr tells us it was time to "refresh" their brand identity to reflect the scope of work and how they've reached students over the past two decades.
"We're 20-years old and we've incorporated so many programs that are diverse and STEM-STEAM education to our ‘School to Home’ program, which is about parents and kids together, and reaching the populations of immigrant and refugee populations is part of what we do, as well as our workforce development piece with our tech end,” Carr explained.
The rebranding was unveiled Tuesday at the organization's Seneca Street location in Buffalo. For years it has collected and refurbished computers for children and classrooms, offering IT training and the STEM and STEAM programs for middle and high school students, teaming with school districts and afternoon programs.
Carr said now it's time to look ahead into the next 20-years.
“We need to look at you know what’s the next population of need that we can serve and certainly our nonprofits don’t have all the resources at their disposal, and yet, they have small budgets to work with and then, on the other side, is the fact that we are developing an apprenticeship program, working with our high schoolers and our college sector through a scalable ladder to get to the jobs that are cultivated through tech,” Carr explained.
The organization also announced a $150,000, three-year grant from the Oishei Foundation for the FOUNDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE INITIATIVE.
“We’re excited to see this 20-year old organization evolving -- from concentrating mainly on placing computers in schools and training children to now broadening its focus on technology services and training to include non-profits, schools, immigrant and refugee populations, and of course, parents and children, our community will be positively affected. And, it’s exciting to see the expansion of a work force training site for high-demand, high-tech jobs," remarked Robert Gioia, President of the John R. Oishei Foundation