“Most of our Mission Techies do not have a computer at home. Their families are financially challenged, so this donation is exponentially helping many more people in the community,” explains Leo Sosa, Technology Training Coordinator, of the generous donation from a gaming giant, Blizzard Entertainment.
To showcase the needs of Mission Techie Academy (MTA) participants, let’s look at the numbers. Approximately half of all MTA participants have attained an education level of less than high school and slightly less than 30 percent have attained a high school diploma. Almost half of the MTA alumni participants are first-generation children of immigrant parents, with almost 60 percent being 20–22 years of age–single adults living on their own without much means of fiscal support.
Sosa runs the innovative MTA, a program geared to young adults ages 17 to 24, at MEDA’s Plaza Adelante Tech Center. It’s a program Sosa plans to work outward, for he’s seen its success in lifting up underserved communities.
The recent donation from Blizzard Entertainment did the same. This premier developer and publisher of entertainment software offers an extensive product line, but is renowned worldwide for its World of WarCraft games.
There were twenty computers donated in total. These are not your usual computers: these are $1,500 Origin gaming computers, sporting plenty of RAM within a sleek, black casing.
Of the 20 computers, 10 were donated directly to 2014 MTA graduates, with the remaining half remaining on site as training tools for future program participants. The fall cohort of Mission Techies, which graduated from the program earlier this month, learned coding, installed OS software and then proudly took home their newly refurbished devices.
While grantees are surely using their new computer to while away the hours as gamers, the powerful devices are also being used to increase family success. Jobs can be applied for online. Bills can be paid for via digital payments. Relatives in Mexico and Central American can be called for free via Skype. These are life-changing things.
Mission Techie Carlos Mesias (pictured) tells of the value of the donation as follows: “Having a computer at home really helps me with school, allowing me to now write essays and do reports. I had trouble before because I didn’t have access to a computer at home.”
Thanks to Blizzard Entertainment, a world has been opened.