BMe Genuis Fellow Opens Student Technology Center in Miami

Affirming YOUth Foundation receives $25,000 from AT&T to support the new afterschool learning lab

Miami, FL – July 22,2018- Affirming YOUth Foundation, with generous support from AT&T, is proud to announce a new computer tech after-school experience for Miami-Dade students in the Edison and Little River communities.

AT&T awarded Affirming YOUth $25,000 to kick off the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)-TechKnowledgy Computer Lab in the Fall of 2018. The lab will be instrumental in helping students who might not have computers at home with their homework. Students will also take part in digital strategies and techniques that assist in SEL. This SEL-lab will be the first of its kind in this community.

“We are so proud to work with AT&T in providing state-of-the-art technologies to help bridge the digital divide for our communities,” said Jonathan Spikes, Founder and Executive Director of Affirming YOUth. “The lab will be a valuable resource to the youth in the identified communities especially as our youth prepare for college and 21st Century careers.

Affirming YOUth Foundation was selected by AT&T because of their robust educational programming and resource center that helps youth develop social-emotional skills. The Lab will be stocked with desktops, printers, flat-screen television and movable furniture. Staff, volunteers and community partners will host technology classes, digital literacy workshops, STEM programs and open labs for state-of-the-art learning experiences.

“AT&T believes it is critical for students to have access to the tools and support systems they need to graduate, succeed in college or enter the workforce as they strive to reach their full potential,” said Cristal Cole, AT&T Florida external affairs. “We are proud to support community programming provided by organizations like the Affirming Youth Foundation, who help foster a safe environment where children can dream big and access the resources they need to be successful in life.”

Board President, Dr. Tangier Scott, lauded AT&T for its constant support of youth initiatives and providing resources for closing the digital divide.

“Today’s youth must be tech savvy to compete for jobs in the global economy,” Scott said. “I’m elated and excited that Affirming YOUth and AT&T are collaborating to create amazing educational opportunities for our youth to succeed now, and for years to come.”

To learn more about Affirming YOUth visit www.AffirmingYOUth.org

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Affirming YOUth Foundation
Affirming Youth Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization with the vision to curate safe spaces for youth to express their feelings and navigate life’s experiences.
Affirming YOUth Foundation mission is to empower youth to transform their lives through psychological, emotional, academic and social practices.

About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T: AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities, and improving lives. We have a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, and address community needs. Our AT&T Aspire initiative uses innovation in education to drive student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $400 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships, and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.

About Jonathan Spikes

South Florida native son, Jonathan Spikes is a published author, Cancer survivor and founder of the Affirming YOUth Foundation, Inc. Reared in Miami, Florida for most of his life, Jonathan has had the opportunity to experience many things both positive and challenging which have helped him to define his way and chart his course.

A graduate of Broward College and Nova Southeastern University, Jonathan’s experience and accomplishments speak volumes. Early in his professional career Jonathan mentored and counseled at-risk students at Horace Mann Middle School in Miami-Dade County as a way to give back to his community. This ignited his lifelong dream of helping youth realize that in spite of any situation, “You can do and be anything that you put your mind too.”

His high-strung energy and enthusiasm for working with students did not go unnoticed. He was later recruited to work with the Afro-centric Enhancement Self-esteem Opportunity Program (AESOP) which led to a more prominent position with the Miami-Dade Department of Juvenile Justice, Youth Investment Initiative Program. During this time Jonathan learned that a youths formative years would impact their adult years negatively or positively depending on their exposure and mental outlets.

In 2011, his passion for youth led to the creation of the Affirming YOUth Foundation, Inc., to celebrate the intrinsic value of all youth. And, the creation of its award-winning Let’s Talk It Out Anti-bully/Conflict Resolution Program; taught in Miami Dade County Public Schools in 2012 through the Educational Transformation Office. In October 2014, the program was promoted by the Florida Department of Education.

In 2018, the foundation expanded its services to include the Affirming Youth Center, a community center for youth to grow and learn.

He is the father of two teenagers, Jamari and Jayna, that continually enriches his life with unbelievable joys and stress. But, he wouldn’t change anything on this incredible life’s journey.

Media Contact: Yvette N. Harris-786-897-8854 or yvette@harrispublicrelations.com

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