We thank Rocket Mortgage for providing 20 laptops to youth in our programs who need the computers for schoolwork, connecting with others and opportunities, and personal use. Rocket partnered with human-i-t, which refurbishes lightly-used and newer-model laptops to help underserved communities, to sponsor the donation.
The youth who received the laptops are from three of our programs: YouthBuild, My Next Move, and Cornerstone. YouthBuild provides job training in the building trades as well as GED instruction for Detroit youth ages 16-24 who did not complete high school. My Next Move serves youth ages 15-21 who live in southwest Detroit. It teaches about career development, job readiness, life and leadership skills, and financial literacy. Cornerstone helps young people ages 15-21 who are in systems of care learn the life skills they need to be successful and independent as they transition to adulthood.
Youth from all three programs came to our YouthBuild facility on the east-side for the special donation event this week. Antanasia Shaw, who participates in Cornerstone, is one of those who received a laptop. She said that she will be attending Macomb Community College in the fall to study radiation therapy and will use her computer primarily for classwork and research. Jala Lewis, another laptop recipient, said she was able to complete 3 of the 4 GED sections while in YouthBuild and will use her computer to finish the last section and earn the high school equivalency she needs to improve her future. Ana Martinez, who participates in My Next Move, said she will use her laptop to improve her academic performance in high school, where she has been struggling, particularly during the Covid crisis and remote learning.
The Rocket Mortgage donation of laptops is part of its “Changing the Course” initiative connected with the Rocket Mortgage Classic. The initiative is designed to address the “digital divide” in Detroit. It envisions every Detroit resident having the technology, internet access, and digital literacy needed to succeed in our world today.