Funding, Grants & Awards | News

Dell Expands YouthConnect Program with Nearly $3 Million

Nearly $3 million in grants will help underserved students gain access to technology in an effort to bridge the digital divide in America.

The money will go to 24 charities through the YouthConnect program, a charitable foundation supported by Dell, in an effort to help more than 20,000 students in Texas, Washington, D.C., California, Illinois, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Tennessee, New Hampshire, Georgia, and Florida.

The cooperative effort between Dell and non-profit agencies aims to bring technology into areas that lack significant technological resources and investment, and will focus on inner cities, rural areas, and low-income communities. Organizers say they hope to teach information and communication technology (ICT) skills with technology, financial resources, and expertise provided by Dell. The role of the non-profits will be to identify where these resources would help the most.

"Every child should have an opportunity to develop his or her potential through technology access," said Trisa Thompson, vice president of corporate responsibility for Dell. "Our investment of nearly $3 million through these 24 organizations reflects our belief that non-profit organizations can best identify and respond to the unique technology needs of their communities. We know that we can change the lives of children who participate."

One of the projects supported will be Keep Austin Beautiful, which through its Project Green Teens provides environmental education and promotes environmental stewardship and youth leadership in underserved neighborhoods. Dell Streak 7 Tablets will be provided as a way to help students develop their creative skills by taking photos of activities and commenting on the photos in blogs. The organization will also use the tablets for indexing, mapping, and tracking results for invasive plant removals, cleanups, and water quality testing.

The African American Men and Boys Harvest Foundation, an organization that brings together successful African American adults with African American students to act as mentors and role models, will also partner with YouthConnect. Young African American students who lack access to broadband and computer equipment will use the new technology to conduct Internet research, find jobs, and complete college applications.

For a full list of charities receiving grants, visit