One Economy Recognizes Dearborn Student

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One Economy, a global nonprofit that uses innovative approaches to deliver the power of technology and information to underserved people, presented Dearborn student Amet Alijahmi with the Lisa Sullivan Horizons award and a $10,000 scholarship for using technology to improve her community.

The award is named in memory of founding One Economy board member Lisa Y. Sullivan, who was a tireless advocate for youth.

Amet received the award in Washington, D.C. during One Economy’s 10th anniversary gala on Oct. 7, where Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski was also honored. Comcast, a major supporter of One Economy’s youth technology initiatives, was the title sponsor of the 10th anniversary gala.

“Amet is a testament to the power and potential of youth in improving their communities,” said Karla Ballard, vice president of social innovation at One Economy. “Our partnership with Comcast is helping us deliver upon that mission and provide youth with access to the tools and skills that will help them achieve their full potential and spread knowledge throughout their communities.”

Amet successfully completed the Digital Connectors program, which was created by One Economy to provide technology training and mentoring for youth. Comcast is the largest sponsor of Digital Connectors and will have more than 50 Comcast programs across the United States by the end of this year. To date, more than 3,500 young people from diverse, low-income backgrounds have been trained as Digital Connectors. These young people have contributed close to 77,000 hours of service to their communities spreading digital literacy.

“The Digital Connectors program in Dearborn, Michigan changed the lives of 23 young men and women this year, including Amet Alijahmi, by teaching them valuable technology skills, as well as the importance of community service,” said Tom Coughlin, senior vice president for Comcast’s Michigan region. “We applaud Amet for being recognized by One Economy for her impressive efforts during and after the completion of the program, demonstrating the lasting impact that Digital Connectors has on a community.”

Amet has often told friends and family that if she had a million dollars she would not spend it on herself, but would use it to build homeless shelters across the country. It was her commitment to service that made her one Digital Connectors outstanding students. During her time in the program she helped refurbish a computer center near an old mosque.

She also held weekly technology training classes for mothers and their daughters, volunteered at a computer lab where she helped residents new to computers and technology, and repaired computers for community members and their families.

“My entire Digital Connector experience was very eye-opening, one that has literally changed my life,” said Aljahmi. “Learning about financial literacy, how to take apart and rebuild a computer and especially the community service component of Digital Connectors are experiences I will take with me for the rest of my life.”

Digital Connectors was conducted during the 2009-2010 school year at the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in Dearborn. Through grants from the Comcast Foundation totaling more than $40,000, ACCESS was able to set up a computer lab at its new youth center in South Dearborn, as well as fund the Comcast Digital Connectors program costs to ensure the students had access to the latest equipment and technology as they developed their digital literacy skills. The new computer lab has also benefited area youth of all ages that visited the ACCESS facility since opening last year.

For more information and to view videos from the event, please visit www.one-economy.com/oe10.

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 19 million people have used One Economy’s online tools and resources, including the Public Internet Channel (www.pic.tv), to build better lives. One Economy has launched programs in 42 U.S. states, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. The Digital Connectors program is One Economy’s flagship initiative that delivers 21st century technology training to young people from low-income backgrounds, who then share what they learn within their own communities. To date, more than 3,500 Digital Connectors have delivered more than 77,000 hours of technology focused community service.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.

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