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Last summer, amid a global pandemic and racial justice protests sweeping the country, Best Buy CEO Corie Barry posted a letter that raised a question: What could Best Buy do?
A few months later, the company answered it with a five-year plan to make meaningful impacts through actions “to better address underrepresentation, technology inequities and education and career opportunities for those who need it most.”
There’s a new development as part of the plan: Best Buy announced today a $10 million commitment to provide a new network of opportunities for youth in Los Angeles. Called the Community Impact Hub, it was created with founding partners the Annenberg Foundation and the Greater LA Education Foundation and will create up to 12 new Teen Tech Centers in the LA area by 2023.
The tech giant currently has 35 Teen Tech Centers across the country, including three in L.A. — one at the Bresee Foundation and two slated to open this summer at Legacy L.A. and Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC). The Teen Tech Centers are designed to help prepare at least 3,000 L.A.-area youth per year with local career opportunities.
Because of the location, the Community Impact Hub will offer experience and training for careers in the creative and entertainment industries. Partnerships with Fresh Films and the Grammy Museum will focus on film, digital media, audio engineering and music production; the Entertainment Industry Foundation will organize paid internship placements; and Compton-based Yetunde Price Resource Center will offer mental health and wellness programming. Additional support comes from JBL, Western Digital, Microsoft and Russell Westbrook’s Why Not? Foundation.
The announcement will be formally toasted during a May 19 virtual event that will feature officials from Best Buy and the founding partners, a conversation with Eva Longoria and a performance by Common.
“A lack of opportunity and access prevents millions of young people — especially those from disinvested communities — from reaching their full potential,” Barry said in a statement. “We’ve seen how one Teen Tech Center in a community can build brighter futures. By partnering with local Los Angeles organizations, we’ll be able to support even more youth pursuing their dreams, now and in the future.”
Added Cinny Kennard, executive director of the Annenberg Foundation said, “Helping create the Community Impact Hub in LA was a natural extension of the Annenberg Foundation’s existing work with Best Buy. The Teen Tech Center we’re building in South LA in partnership with VSEDC will be a core pillar of that hub — with a bold vision to address learning loss, help close the digital divide, and provide young women and youth of color with meaningful, career-linked opportunities.”
More information can be found here.
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