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Mission of Techie Youth
Techie Youth's mission is to create economic opportunities for at-risk youth, teens in foster care and low-income individuals facing challenging life situations, by utilizing technology-skills training to establish financial self-sufficiency and long-term career stability. Our emphasis is on redirecting the life-path of youth and young-adults who are on a track towards homelessness or incarceration.
Our methods provide each participant with opportunity & attention; this is our core ideology that is implemented by every Techie Youth staff member.
Specifically, we provide youth with a highly-tailored accelerated education in computer-technologies, hands-on training and individualized coaching to guide them towards a lucrative technology-driven career, and empower them to become financially self-sustaining career professionals.
What is Techie Youth?
Techie Youth is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit registered charity of New York City that provides educational services and career guidance to foster kids and at-risk youth demographics, preparing them to become self-sufficient technology, IT and computer professionals.
Techie Youth was founded by a group of four Chief Technical Officers (CTOs) and an attorney, with the direct guidance from the president of the New York CTO Club, the CEO of one of New York's largest foster agencies, and two executive directors from NY's most-prominent agency focused on helping older-age foster youth.
Who does Techie Youth serve?
Techie Youth focuses on at-risk youth populations who are facing extreme life-challenges, those who are in dire-need of guidance and assistance to learn how to become financially self-sufficient. Most of our students are statistically-likely to become homeless or incarcerated in the near-future; our goal is to pivot their life-paths towards a positive professional track as rapidly as possible.
Our students include:
- Foster kids (current, former or emancipated) who are old enough to be legally-employed
- Homeless youth and displaced minors, living in shelters, FEMA-housing or on the streets
- Justice-involved teens and formerly-incarcerated minors & youth
- Pregnant and/or parenting teenagers
- Transgendered and LGBTQ+ youth
- Youth with criminal convictions participating in 2nd-chance programs
- Teens with substantial learning challenges, including high-functioning autism, severe-ADHD, etc.
- Kids who were victims of extreme abuse/neglect
You probably know of some of our students already. Many have been featured on the news, sometimes for stories of severe parental-neglect such as when the neighbors find abandoned young children living for weeks alone and unsupervised; some of our students have been on the news for committing unthinkable criminal acts that we want to ensure does not repeat. When you see a New York City youth on the news for some extreme situation, they may very well end up in our Techie Youth classroom. We strive to ensure that each student graduates Techie Youth and becomes financially self-sufficient to ensure that they have incentive to proceed on a positive life path that contributes to their own well-being and to society as a whole.
Techie Youth Plus+ (TY++) is our adult-focused program to help "beyond youth" demographics of severe-need. We currently serve formerly incarcerated females seeking to re-enter the workforce, and help them begin careers as technology professionals. We are open to collaborating with other organizations to help additional demographics, if you represent one then please contact us to discuss.
Where does Techie Youth operate?
Techie Youth currently serves the New York City and Long Island regions, with our headquarters in Long Island City, Queens.
We have outgrown the facility-capacities of our former locations in Manhattan, Long Island and Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Want to open a Techie Youth in your area? You can! We have proven frameworks for operations, logistics, curriculum, establishing career-pathways and everything else that you will need to open a Techie Youth location in your area. You will need to (1) identify a suitable location, (2) hire appropriate staffing, (3) raise or provide the operational funding and (4) collaborate with local organizations to source the students for your Techie Youth location. If you (alone or with partners) feel comfortable and capable of achieving all 4 of those facets then contact us to discuss how to proceed.
All Techie Youth locations represent a high-tech or modern trendy (i.e. hipster, urban-chic, etc.) workspace. We do this to create a professional environment that is both exciting and luxurious to encourage the participants to take pride in their professional careers. This ideology was established at the onset of Techie Youth based on guidance from our early-advisors, Jeremy Kohomban, CEO of The Children's Village (one of New York's largest foster agencies and providers of youth services) as well as Pat O'Brien, Founder & Executive Director of You Gotta Believe, along with his successor, Susan Grundberg, former-CEO of YGB. YGB is the primary NYC agency focused on finding permanent families for older foster kids.
Our current Long Island City location is strategically located 8-blocks from the formerly-proposed Amazon NY executive office and 2-blocks from the Queensbridge Houses, the largest housing project in Queens, New York- and the former home of famous musicians Nas, Mob Depp, Marley Marl and many others.
When was Techie Youth founded?
With founding-support provided by Microsoft, Gilt Groupe and Aerospike, Techie Youth held its first class in Nov. 2015 with a dozen students whom we recruited individually from foster agencies and group-homes around New York City.
In 2016 we moved into our first dedicated Techie Youth space in Bushwick Brooklyn supported by the generous contribution of EnterpriseDB, along with additional support from NuoDB, Greystone, 2ndQuadrant, AgilData, Vizzuality, SYSTAP, MarkLogic and other organizations.
Thanks to our generous benefactors, the Craig Newmark Foundation (Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist) and Joanne & Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures), in 2018 we doubled our capacity by moving to a larger space in Long Island City, Queens. We also expanded the services that we provide for our students through support from Microsoft, Trapeze Group and the NY Rotary Club.
Through the generous support of Jane Street Capital and ongoing support from the Craig Newmark Foundation, in 2019 we were able to further-expand by moving to a yet-larger space in Long Island City that is just down the street from our prior location.
Why do we focus on foster-kids and at-risk youth?
Foster kids were born into their life-situations, to no fault of their own. When parents are deemed to be unfit to care for their kids, and no family member agrees to take the kids, then they are placed in foster care, ideally with a foster family but frequently older teens are placed into orphanage-like group homes.
In their emancipation-year (18-21, depending on state,) they will lose their housing provided through foster care and will often become homeless on their birthday.
The original mission of Techie Youth was to help foster kids become financially self-sufficient as rapidly as possible, so they are prepared for independent living. We have since expanded scope to also help severely-at-risk older-youth who are on a track towards homelessness or incarceration.
How we help our students become self-sufficient?
We provide every student with opportunity & attention, two critical facets of youth development that many of our students confide in us that they have never before received. We supply each student with the tools of knowledge to empower them to become career professionals earning substantial income in the tech-sector, and enabling them to help themselves.
We train each student with a broad range of computer-tech skills to prepare them for a wide range of possible technology-focused careers. Some of the topics that we cover include:
- Disassembling and reassembling desktop and laptop computers
- HTML and coding fundamentals
- Basics of cybersecurity
- Blockchain and crytocurrencies
- Problem-solving computer issues in software and hardware
- How to use Office-Suite software
- Methods to earn money online
- IT project management
- ...and many other fun topics!
Are you ready to "give" thanks by paying it forward?
The Techie Youth logo is a compilation of the letters T & Y
- The Pi mathematical symbol, representative of being "Techie"
- A human figure amidst a stride, conveying "Youth"
- The human figure has welcoming outstretched arms, representing Techie Youth's mission to help each and every foster-child of employable-age
Techie Youth is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit registered charity of New York City