Language barriers kept students at Edison High Schools disconnected.
Faced with a problem, biology teacher Edison Freire created a solution — an after-school club.
Latino Tech, founded in 1995, enabled high school students to disassemble and repair computers, all the while improving their English language abilities.
Word of the club spread, and when membership began to include those outside of the Latino community, the club was renamed the Urban Technology Project (UTP).
Since then, UTP has grown to serve a diverse population of dozens of schools and neighborhoods and hundreds of community members in every region of Philadelphia.
By providing urban youth with information technology tools and education, UTP promotes ownership of knowledge, problem solving skills and self-reliance, helping its members to reach their potential as civic-minded, service-providing professionals.
Essential to the success of the program is its structure: long-term, holistic support for urban youth — support that relies on a continuum of service-learning and school-to-work experiences for participants. The program’s nearly two decades of experience working with urban youth and digital inclusion issues serve as a model for organizations working across the country to narrow the digital divide.
E-mail Development Coordinator Jessie Cunningham (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about the history of the Urban Technology Project.