FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susan Kirkpatrick
Computers For Children Re-Brands as MISSION: IGNITE and Announces Expanded Programs and New Funding
John R. Oishei Foundation to support Capacity Building Grant that includes a Non- Profit Tech Solution and an Apprentice Program with three-year, $150,000 grant
Buffalo, N.Y., January 30, 2018 – Computers For Children unveiled MISSION: IGNITE, powered by Computers For Children, as its new name and brand identity to better reflect its expanded technology and educational offerings, and its mission to ignite learning. The organization also announced a three-year, $150,000 grant from the John R. Oishei Foundation that will support its new FOUNDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE, CAPACITY BUILDING Initiative. The WNY Foundation has also indicated interest in supporting the expansion plans.
The key components of the FOUNDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE initiative include a service solution designed to help nonprofits with current technology and support that will keep their technology up to date, and an Apprenticeship program for high school and college students to teach key technology skills that our increasingly tech-dependent economy requires. The overall program is expected to cost $500,000.
The announcements were made at an event held today at MISSION: IGNITE’s office at 701 Seneca Street to showcase the expanding mission of the organization and the broader audience it now serves that goes well beyond just refurbishing computers and offering training for young students. MISSION: IGNITE’s offerings now extend to training through its Apprenticeship program, that will be hosted in warehouse space where MISSION: IGNITE is located and is provided by the Larkin Center of Commerce. The organization will work with the college sector to invite IT and IS students to hone their skills by working with experienced technicians in a structured curriculum that has a scalable ladder. This will then lead them to becoming the Technician Support resource for our Non-Profits, giving them their first employed job assignments. In addition, MISSION: IGNITE will expand its partnerships with nonprofits to assist them with their technology needs including providing refurbished equipment, software and/or tech support so that these organizations can expand their capacity and focus on their respective missions, rather than expending resources – both time and money - trying to keep up with technology. MISSION: IGNITE also provides in-home computers to disadvantaged families through their schools to help their children succeed through its School-to-Home program.
Computers For Children, now twenty years old, has long provided IT training and computers for schools and is the leading STEM/STEAM [science, technology, engineering, arts and math] program provider of middle and high school students, collaborating with school districts and after school program partners.
According to Christine Carr, Executive Director of MISSION: IGNITE, “As we celebrate our 20th year in operation, we recognized that it was time to refresh our brand identity to better reflect the broader scope of services we provide. We believe MISSION: IGNITE helps us to define our role to spark learning and ignite the possibilities that technology and innovation can bring to nonprofits, students and their families for a better future and to certainly invest in students to meet employers needs as the future workforce. The new identity comes at a perfect time as we introduce of our FOUNDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE INITIATIVE and we are so appreciative to both the Oishei Foundation and the WNY Foundation for recognizing the need, and providing support to better equip our community in technology education.”
Robert Gioia, President of the John R. Oishei Foundation said, “We’re excited to see this 20-year old organization evolving -- from concentrating mainly on placing computers in schools and training children to now broadening its focus on technology services and training to include non-profits, schools, immigrant and refugee populations, and of course, parents and children, our community will be positively affected. And, it’s exciting to see the expansion of a work force training site for high-demand, high-tech jobs.”
Beth Gosch, Executive Director of the WNY Foundation commented, “Computers for Children fills a niche market and is addressing a great need by equipping Buffalo’s families with the necessary equipment and IT that is needed to equal the digital playing field and improve student performance and academic outcomes. This project will lead to expanded programming that will impact families of need while at the same time supporting the agency’s sustainability with increased earned income opportunities.”
Tom Lynch, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries added, ”Goodwill has partnered with Computers for Children for the past five years; they provide us with an affordable way to ensure that our employees and clients work on machines with up-to-date hardware and software. We wouldn’t have been able to do that without their support.
Donations of computers and other hardware from private businesses are upgraded by MISSION: IGNITE technicians through the Apprenticeship program, then the technology and support services are then offered to nonprofits at a low cost. Equipment donations to MISSION: IGNITE also keep technology hardware out of landfills by reinvesting equipment where it is most needed in our schools and nonprofit agencies.
To learn more about MISSION: IGNITE, visit www.mission-ignite.org