On Saturday, the Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFÉ) celebrated their fourth annual Far Eastside Festival.
The free event included entertainment, community resources, youth activities, live music, food and more. CAFÉ collaborated with Comcast who donated ten laptops to present to students going back to school.
The laptops were gifted to participants of their CAFÉ YES Indy program and Summer Teen Employment Camp.
“There are some marginalized neighborhoods within our larger community here on the Far Eastside. So, because of that we want to make sure that there’s equality in everything. The digital divide is important because it’s a part of that,” said CAFÉ CEO Kendra Nowell.
The YES Indy program is designed to provide guidance, resources and direction for youth.
It supports teens and young adults ages 16-24 in creating promising career goals for themselves.
They do this through building self-worth, personal balance, critical thinking, social skills and workplace readiness.
Participants find jobs, earn vocational certifications, receive help enrolling in college, obtain a jumpstart on their career and paid work experience.
The Teen Employment Camp is a paid six-week career and leadership development camp for Far Eastside students ages 15-18.
Tackling the digital divide
Participants are given internship experience in careers of their interest. They work half days for in-person experience in the morning and return to CAFÉ in the afternoon for workshops and training.
CAFÉ brings in guest speakers and conducts college tours. Students earn a weekly stipend for their time and commitment to the program.
18-year-old Sade Daniels recently graduated from Crispus Attucks High School and will be attending Indiana State University in the fall to study criminal justice.
As one of the recipients of a free laptop, she said she is glad she decided to attend a CAFÉ summer program.
“It’s literally right across the street from my house. So, I saw a flyer, and I was like, might as well, and I signed my brother up too. I feel good. It can really help me a lot when I get to college,” said Daniels.
PR Director for Comcast Indiana Mike Wilson said it is great to see organizations like CAFÉ working to bring events like the Far Eastside Festival together.
“I’m out here with the Xfinity folks. We’re getting the word out about the affordable connectivity program. The laptop doesn’t mean anything if there isn’t a career aspiration, or a goal, or hope for achievement behind it,” said Wilson.
Contact staff writer Jade Jackson at 317-607-5792 or by email email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @IAMJADEJACKSON