Untied Hands Youth Center CTC Expansion

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
United Hands Youth Center, Inc
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

We are now The United Hands Youth Center our mission is to offer program services in education through the use of computer technology to our minority, rural, economically distressed community. Our target population is nearly five hundred school aged (adolescents and teenagers), and dropouts and young adults in our immediate community.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

United Hands Youth Center, Inc.P. O . Box 465Ferriday, La. 71334(318) 757-3212email: Brobrad7@bellsouth.net 5-6-09 Our impact Story is being submitted in the areas of Increased range of clients, members or volunteers served or recruited. And in the Area of Enabled new services and new programs as we have grown through the years. Enhanced quality or impact of our programs by the addition of educational classes to the parents of program participants and free internet access to the general public. We have Increased the impact of programs by extablishing computer labs in various religious organizations throughout our community. We started our program in 1998 with the vision that we preceived to be from the Lord to bring technology to our rural area, underserved, poverty community in central Louisiana. Our targert is the more than 500 school aged children in our immediate school district. Our after-school program allowed the children to get off the school bus directly at our facility where they received adult supervision in a safe invironment. We received a grant called POWER-UP Initative through AOL and the Wyatt Foundation to set up our 20 unit computer lab. We began after school tutoring with the assistance of retired teachers volenteering their time and resources. We added a snack shop because most of the children were not receiving the proper nutrition at home. Especially, during the summer when school is closed and they can’t eat a school lunch. We periodically offered recreational programs in football, basketball to balance our program and give them and energetic outlet. We have increased our range of clients from students to dropouts, participant parents, the adult community by periodically offering an Adult Computer Literacy Class. Three evenings per week the parents of students and the general community can take the class. Many people just come into our center to have access to the internet. This caused an awareness to the lack of technology in the homes of our community citizens. Many people simply cannot afford a new computer thus the children had no access to technology at home where they needed it most. As a result, we joined alliance with Computers for Louisiana Kids (CLK), Capital Area Corporate Recycling Council (http://www.cacrc.com) to obtain refurbished computers. Since 2001 we have been receiving equipment and software to assist our program. As a furhter attempt to expand the outreach of technology into our community we decided give the computers to the program participant when they have completed an enrolled class. We offer basic technology classes periodically such as “Introduction to Computers” and a “Bacic Hardware Components” class. We hope to someday offer an A+ class as we advance ourself. The class only lasts about three months and haviing the free computer as a reward for completion insures the success of the program. It also insure the accomplishment of our goal to continuously striving to put technology in the homes of entire community. We believe that every child in school should (Must) have a computer in their home. Along with the computer system we assist them with software support links. We have a desire to continue our educational outreach through the use of religious organizations. There are more churches than schools in our community. A couple of years ago we placed 10 computers in New Willow Baptist Church, Pilgram Rest Baptist Church and Sunflower Baptist Church. The response from this venture was very positive. They are offering services over the weekend and especially on Sundays using technology as part of their Sunday School Activities. More Churches have have expressed an interest in housing an afterscool program at their facility. We met with the Ministerial Allicance and received a positive response to set up labs in the classroom and fellowship halls that are large enough to house a program. We have created an agreement with with the purpose of Establishing a prevention/ intervention program to solve the problems by providing an alternative to drugs and violence, provide a safe haven for kids, and increase the technical literacy of our community. The plan is to establish 20 community technology centers in our local community. We have strategically mapped out the geographic of the religious organizations in our neighboring communities. We have made contact with the leadership organizations such as the Ministerial Alliances, the different denomination Associations, Parishioners. Certain criteria must be met in order to qualify such as:

  1. Provide security environment for the Computer Equipment
  2. Provide a volunteer to supervise the activities
  3. Provide ISP services to the Lab
  4. Conduct basic record keeping

United Hands Youth Center will 1. Create a layout for the Lab2. Provide the Computer Equipment3. Provide Technical Support4. Provide networking with other organizations such as http://ctnet.com , and TechSoupWhere they can get donations, grants to sustain themselves. Opportunities to join organizations such as After School Alliances, 5. Assist in the sustainabilityWe have adopted a five-year plan for our organization. There are 64 Parishes in Louisiana that will be targeted as our long term goal. The Yellow Pages alone lists a total of 6,255 religious organization in the State of La. We are in central Louisiana so we have began phase one of our project in the nine-parish area. Along with Computers for Louisiana Kids we have 6 kindergartens that are also waiting on their computer installations. You see why infrastructure is so important to our success. Stable and Secure Technology is the category that we choose to submit our impact story because it best fits our situation. Without the physical hardware we would have not lab or no technology to offer. Without the ifrastructure we could not operate or expand. The computers themselves is foundation of our operation. Through continous upgrading of equipment and software we are keeping our community abreast of the future of technology by providing access. We need to expand our infrastructure in the area of networking especially to accompdate our goal of extablishing 14 religious organization and 6 kindergarten computer labs. We need this award to help us to continue our vision of getting technology throughout our entire community.

Submission Category
Stable and Secure Technology