An often-forgotten population in the Tenderloin is kids — there are about 4,000 in a 50-block area. Children are one of the bright spots in this community, and we are working to help this generation get up to speed on technology tools.
Even though the proliferation of personal computers in schools began in the 80s, having one at home that could access the Internet was not possible and certainly not compulsory for many students in low-income areas. Today, a computer with easy access to the world of information online is critical to personal development, in and out of school. Computers also help teachers foster curiosity in their students. Without this access, students who may need it most can all too easily get left behind.
Our aim here @TwitterSF is to direct some of our resources into more hands, particularly those of students.
Since 2012 we have been donating our used laptops to schools and nonprofits throughout San Francisco; more recently, we have established three organizational partnerships to keep this stream of donations flowing — Oasis for Girls, Mercy Housing and the Tenderloin Scholarship Fund. Each group passes our donated laptops along to the youth they work with locally.
“Twitter donated 30 laptops to us which will outfit our computer lab for girls, reward graduates from our programs, and replace all of our staff computers,” says Jessica Van Tuyl, Executive Director of Oasis for Girls. “[This] ensures that our girls have access to computers to do their homework, apply for college, and search for jobs, but it also ensures that they gain experience using the latest technology so that they are more prepared to enter the workforce and become self sufficient, productive members of society.”