The technology nonprofit partners with Andrus Foundation, Cricket Communications and Rent-A-Center to enroll foster youth in new “LIFE 3Ts” program.
Charleston, SC – Last night, the Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC) celebrated local foster youth and their supportive foster families in a moving ceremony at the new Boeing Welcome Center building. These local youth were recognized for their months of hard work and dedication. The ceremony honored the foster youth’s achievements in various CYDC programs and coming transition out of South Carolina’s foster care system.
Empowering them to take the next steps in their life journey, One Economy, along with corporate partners Cricket Communications, a leading provider of innovative and value-driven wireless voice, data and music services, and Rent-A-Center, Inc., the nation’s largest rent-to-own operator, were on hand to announce a newly-funded program called the LIFE Transitions Through Technology (3Ts) program. LIFE 3Ts was designed to bring technology access, training and resources to youth as they transition out of the foster care system.
“Understanding how technology can be better utilized in the lives of youth has been a constant focus of One Economy’s efforts over the last decade,” said Sonja Murray, Senior Vice President and Chief Program Officer for One Economy. “When we had the chance to create a technology-centric program that will not only benefit these impressive young men and women, but also inform our efforts in the future, we jumped at the chance. We are very excited to see what the future holds for these promising young individuals.”
LIFE 3Ts is being underwritten by a generous grant from the Andrus Family Fund’s Foster Care to Independence program. The new program designed for youth transitioning out of foster care combines Carolina Youth Development Center’s services and One Economy’s technology access, training and content, and reflects the Andrus Transition Framework. The Transition Framework is a three phase process: first, acknowledging an ending; second, an unfamiliar neutral time; and third, a time of new beginning.
Dubbed “technology consultants,” the LIFE 3Ts will provide technology-focused training from One Economy, as well as an online community where they can connect with other foster youth who are also transitioning out of foster care. The nonprofit will also provide them with a small stipend while they are a part of the program.
Representatives from Cricket Communications and Rent-A-Center, Inc. were also on hand to provide the LIFE 3Ts program participants with wireless Internet access cards and a laptop, respectively.
“We have been pleased to support One Economy initiatives in the past, and are very glad to play a part in the LIFE 3Ts program,” said Todd Brown, sales director of Charleston for Cricket Communications. “We both are in the business of providing needed wireless services to those who need it most. Providing a mobile Internet solution to a youth transitioning out of foster care is a perfect way for us to be involved.”
“Access to the right tools and equipment is central to technology training,” said Rent-A-Center Vice President Xavier Dominicis. “It’s gratifying to supply laptops to deserving young students dedicated to sharing what they’ve learned with others.”
“Any time an organization like One Economy brings you a new, thoughtful way to help out our foster youth, you pay attention, said Barbara Kelley Duncan, CEO of CYDC. “We are excited to work on the LIFE 3Ts program with One Economy, Cricket and Rent-A-Center. It’s a great opportunity and one we look forward to working together on.”
About One Economy
One Economy is a global nonprofit organization that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to low-income people. More than 20 million people have used One Economy’s online tools and resources, including The Beehive (www.thebeehive.org) and the Public Internet Channel (www.pic.tv), to build better lives. One Economy has launched on-the-ground programs in 42 U.S. states, Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The Digital Connectors program is one of One Economy’s education initiatives that deliver 21st century technology training to young people from low-income backgrounds, who then share what they learn within their own communities. By year’s end more than 6,000 youth will have given more than 200,000 hours of community service and will have trained 160,000 people. Learn more at www.one-economy.com.
About Carolina Youth Development Center
Founded in 1790 as the Charleston Orphan House, the Carolina Youth Development Center has served the Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties of South Carolina for over 220 years by providing shelter, safety and treatment services to abused, neglected and abandoned children.
Cricket is the pioneer and leader in delivering innovative, value-rich prepaid wireless services with no long-term contracts serving 6.2 million customers. Cricket offers wireless voice and mobile data services over the latest, high-quality, all-digital 4G (LTE) and 3G CDMA wireless networks. In 2011, Cricket launched its award-winning Muve Music® product, the first music service designed for a wireless phone that now has more than 600,000 customers. Cricket’s innovative products and services are available at Cricket branded retail stores, dealers, national retailers and at www.mycricket.com. For more information about Cricket, please visit www.mycricket.com.
About Rent-A-Center, Inc.
Rent-A-Center, Inc., headquartered in Plano, Texas, is the largest rent-to-own operator in North America, focused on improving the quality of life for its customers by providing them the opportunity to obtain ownership of high-quality, durable goods such as consumer electronics, appliances, computers, furniture and accessories, under flexible rental purchase agreements with no long-term obligation. The Company owns and operates approximately 3,070 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, and approximately 765 RAC Acceptance kiosk locations in the United States and Puerto Rico. For additional information about the Company, please visit www.rentacenter.com.