I’m Brandon Washington, a teacher, and I’m raising money (again) to acquire new technology to administer an E-Sports youth after-school program to curb gun violence. In 2020, with your help, I raised over $8,000 to establish a co-work space to benefit the local community within the South of South Neighborhood Association office located at 1901 B Washington Ave, name "1901".
Since its establishment, the space has hosted various programs, workshops and community engagement activities. My ambition is to curb gun violence and prepare our youth for the "real world" by attracting them to an E-sports youth program where they can channel their energies through competitive gaming. The program also aims to expose students to the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics while developing team-building skills through design projects.
SOSNA's got the perfect space that could use $50K for enhancements to acquire the technology necessary for Esports competitive gaming.
I'm passionate about this because our youth need opportunities for engagement and pathways to develop the skills necessary for the jobs of tomorrow.
Other organizations have expressed a similar interest, so I started The STREAM Engine, a non-profit organization consisting of various individuals, businesses, and organizations who wish to provide the resources and instruction to address Poverty within Philadelphia.
By supporting this endeavor, you’re not only helping our youth from Philadelphia, but you're also assisting me and others in addressing the challenges mentioned below.
Due to the pandemic, access to the internet has become more necessary than ever before. As a result, the ability to create and manipulate “digital content”is in high demand. The pandemic has also shifted the job market, leading to a rise in demand for digital skills jobs like data entry or virtual assistant. Lastly, there are a variety of community issues impacted by poverty I believe can be addressed with instruction, mentorship, and programming through collaborative efforts that can be facilitated within the space
According to Wharton online, technology adoption has accelerated due to COVID-19. Years of digital transformation have occurred in months, dating back to the pandemic's start. Therefore jobs, old and new, will require more digital skills, exacerbating what was already a widening skills gap.
As indicated by the Inqurier, The poverty rate in Philadelphia has increased and will continue to grow as the pandemic continues. Studies conducted by Northeastern University suggest that gun violence has a direct connection to poverty which would tell gun violence would continue to increase as well.
Attempting to address the issues mentioned, I wish to use my skill set to provide the training of more usable skills for the current workforce.
With your support, by supporting this co-op workspace within the community, the following goals aim to be achieved:
- Create a revenue stream to support the space through membership fees and selling goods and services within the space.
- Provide a variety of programming developed to create opportunities for individuals needing to adapt to the current and emerging workforce.
- Use my skill set to provide digital skills training to bring jobs to our community to alleviate poverty.
- Establish a space neighboring organizations can provide opportunities involving various objectives such as group/youth programs, activities focused on at-risk populations, outreach events/resource fairs to increase access to employment opportunities, and many educational events and workshops.
I'm a current Philadelphia resident, born and raised in the graduate hospital area
I’m known in the city as the son of the late Ron Washington, owner of Ron’s Ribs which was once a neighborhood staple.
Since my father was a community leader, activist, and entrepreneur, I have always been aware of the issues my city has faced throughout my life. I possess a deep passion for my community which assisted in raising me after the passing of my father during my adolescent years. I’ve spent that last decade acquiring the skills and putting myself in positions to impact the issues within the city. Having earned degrees in technology, business, and education, with over ten years working in the tech industry and over five years teaching, I believe I’ve accumulated a skill set that benefits my community. I teach Tech ed at the high school level, entrepreneurship, business, and technology at the university level and am an instructor for the Uncommon Individual Foundation’s Technology Mentorship Program. I sit on the board of SOSNA, serve as the president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Frontiers International organization, and am a member of UPENN's IoT4Ag
Drawing on my experience in teaching, I am proud to serve as an instructor and joined by other great volunteers and colleagues to serve our community.
The SPACE looks like this
I'd like to make it look like this
[Our funding goals]
We need $50,000 by November 1st to have enough funding to enhance the space for the wintertime. The $50,000 will be used to secure the space for the year, acquire new technology, and update the security system. All donations will be used for the equipment, technology, and programs.
- $20,000 For Operations Costs
- $20,000 For Technology Enhancements
- $10,000 For Security and Network System Installation
With this final funding campaign, the space will be a self-sustaining asset for the community to take advantage of.
There’s a saying: Give a man a fish, you have fed him for a day..teach a man how to fish, and you have fed him for life. I believe the best way to address poverty is through education. Join me in addressing issues within our community by aiding in establishing this space through your contribution.
Help us make a difference in our community by donating, and if you can’t, please help spread the word by sharing this fundraiser!