Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami launches new YOUmedia Miami center to provide local youth with digital technology learning experiences

MIAMI – Nov. 17, 2016  Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami Wednesday night announced the launch of a new YOUmedia Miami learning lab, a space designed to introduce local youth to technology and support talent growth with $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Part of a national network of learning labs, YOUmedia opened at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami headquarters, at the Carnival Center for Excellence, 550 NW 42nd Ave.

The lab aims to help nurture talent in Miami and expand opportunities for teens interested in tech careers. Aligned with the overall mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters, the lab will place special emphasis on attracting residents from low-income areas across Greater Miami. It will offer youth, ages 5-18, with wide access to computers, the internet, and digital media tools to promote learning and the development of tech skills in areas such as sound recording, video production, the creation of mobile applications and photography. It will also provide parents of youth participants and volunteers contributing in the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mentoring programs access to new skills and technical knowledge.

The lab’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 2:30 to 6:00 p.m. and the first and third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Programming is scheduled to start in early December with classes offered in coding, film crew, creative digital skills, photography and other areas.

In addition, Big Brothers Big Sisters will receive feedback and insights from leaders at Miami-Dade County Public Libraries that are already operating two YOUmedia locations, as well as national leaders associated with youmedia.org.

“Together with Knight Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami is creating a digital pathway to success for the youth we serve,” said Gale Nelson, president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. “Through YOUmedia, we will help our youth gain digital literacy and better prepare to compete in the 21st century workplace.”

“Talent is universal across Miami, but opportunities to nurture and develop that talent are still too few in many parts of our community. The YOUmedia lab at Big Brothers Big Sisters aims to change that by providing the tools and mentorship for young people to strengthen their tech and creative skills. This is a key effort in building Miami’s next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs,” said Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation program director for Miami.

Support for the YOUmedia lab at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami forms part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in the city’s emerging innovators and entrepreneurs as a tool to build community, while fostering talent and expanding economic opportunity. Over the past two years Knight has made more than 200 investments in entrepreneurship in South Florida.

For more information visit bbbsmiami.org.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami
Big Brothers Big Sisters is a donor and volunteer supported organization that transforms the lives of at-risk children through supportive adult mentor relationships.  BBBS Miami mentoring programs currently serve more than 7,000 children, volunteers and families annually. For more information, visit bbbsmiami.org/ or call 305-644-0066.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

Contacts:

Andi Phillips, Roar Media, 305-570-2632, [email protected]

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646, [email protected]