December 11 at 10:48am

Interfaith Community Services Receives Grant From NBCUniversal Foundation for Teens Teaching Tech Program

On Tuesday, NBCUniversal Foundation announced $1.2 million in grant awards to local, community based nonprofits in 10 markets across the country through its 21st Century Solutions initiative, including $50,000 to Interfaith Community Services for it’s innovative Teens Teaching Tech program.

Teens Teaching Tech is a summer program launched in 2013 by Interfaith’s Employment Services department and Transitional Youth Academy program (TYA). The purpose is to connect at-risk teenagers from North San Diego County with Interfaith’s own job-seeking adult clients, so the teens can teach basic computer and technology skills to the older adults.

“Last summer, our Transitional Youth Academy students provided over 1,040 hours of technology instruction to low income families, seniors, and job seekers at Interfaith’s Oceanside and Escondido community centers,” remarked Olga Diaz, Interfaith’s Director of Employment Services and supervisor of the new program. “This is made even more remarkable by the fact that the Transitional Youth Academy directly reaches over 100 low income students from Oceanside and El Camino High School that are identified as at-risk for dropping out, failing academic content standards or becoming gang involved.”

Last year, 100% of Interfaith’s TYA seniors successfully graduated from high school and entered college, often representing the first generation of college students in their family.

“Interfaith is thrilled to be a recipient of this year’s NBCUniversal 21st Century Solutions award,” said Richard Batt, Interfaith’s Executive Director. “Our Teens Teaching Tech program demonstrates that youth from a diversity of backgrounds who are experiencing genuine challenges of their own can make a difference right now in the lives of other people in need. We are incredibly proud of these students and what they’ve achieved, and this grant will enable us to do even more.”

Interfaith Community Services provides a wide range of programs to help hungry, homeless, and low-income people in North San Diego County. Programs include food and basic needs, shelters and housing, employment services, family and social services, children and youth programs, senior services, veterans programs, and addiction recovery. Each program is designed to “help people help themselves,” by empowering individuals to regain self-sufficiency. The agency has an annual budget of $10.4 million and employs 160 persons.