• 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 (jcunningham@cisphl.org) to learn more about the history of the Urban Technology Project.