Verizon Foundation CSR program helps Baltimore foundation bridge digital divide for Latino immigrants

BALTIMORE –Latino immigrants in under served communities in Baltimore soon will get much-needed computer and literacy training that will help adults and their families advance in the 21st century.

With a nearly $6,500 grant from the Verizon Foundation, The William & Lanaea C. Featherstone Foundation will launch “Empowering Immigrants: One ‘Click’ At A Time,” a program that will provide hands-on, practical computer training aimed at bridging the digital divide in Baltimore’s Latino community. Through this program, immigrant adults will develop strong technology skills in innovative ways.

“Latino immigrants now will have access to Spanish-language, educational training programs that ultimately will enhance their quality of life – yielding better jobs, successful communities and happier families,” said Lanaea C. Featherstone, president of The William & Lanaea C. Featherstone Foundation.  “Thanks to Verizon Foundation’s support, Latinos will be more marketable to employers and can compete in this multimedia age.”

William R. Roberts, president of Verizon Maryland and Washington, D.C., said, “Verizon takes pride in preparing people for the future.  The Verizon Foundation has a long-standing tradition of focusing on literacy and computer technology as a means to help people rise above their circumstances to make a better life for themselves and their families.”

The Featherstone Foundation also partnered with the Center for Community Technology Services and East Baltimore Technology Resource Center to expand the program’s reach and impact.  The partnership will provide participants with subsidized desktop computers to ensure that more underprivileged persons have access to technology.

“For the first time, participants will receive e-mail addresses, learn how to use search engines and complete online job applications – vital skills that ultimately lead to economic empowerment,” said Gayle Carney, executive director of the Center for Community Technology Services.  “This initiative shows that when organizations collaborate to empower communities to use technology, Baltimore becomes a better place to learn, work and live.”

The digital training, conducted in Spanish, will engage new audiences in computer literacy and technology.  The “Empowering Immigrants” program is free of charge and, scheduled to begin January 30.