LULAC and The General Motors Foundation Open New Technology LabAt Latinitas, Inc. in Austin, Texas

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Tech Center Brings STEM Resources to Local Youth

"By exposing youth to STEM programs at an early age, we hope to encourage greater participation in STEM related careers.”

Today, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), with the support from the General Motors Foundation, opened a new technology lab at the Latinitas Community Center. This effort is part of LULAC’s Empower Hispanic America with Technology (EHAT) initiative, which focuses on closing the technology gap in underserved Latino communities.

“With these new resources, the community will have access to state-of-the-art technology and resource which can be used to give Latino youth access to STEM programs,” said LULAC National Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “These resources will be offered free of charge. By exposing youth to STEM programs at an early age, we hope to encourage greater participation in STEM related careers.”

As a result of the support, the community will have access to additional computers, specialized software and workshops free of charge. The equipment for the new technology center also includes new desktops with high speed Internet, state-of-the-art printers, a projector and a stipend for program coordination.

“STEM education is at the core of how General Motors makes award winning vehicles. Fostering community STEM education is a strategic bet for our future and the future of our industry,” said John Miller, Director, GM Austin Innovation Center. “We are happy to use the GM Foundation grant funds to drive diversity and education in our community, in a space where we can share our industry knowledge and drive innovation for the benefit of all.”

Austin is the fourth city to launch an EHAT center with support from the GM Foundation. Additional cities where technology centers have opened include Waukegan, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Phoenix, Arizona; and Arlington, Texas. The ribbon cutting today featured remarks by supporters of the effort and an interactive technology workshop where youth created their own video game.

"The assumption is in the 21st century everyone has access to technology devices and training, but for a large percentage of Latino families - technology is a luxury many can't afford or a single device must serve an entire family's needs. This technology lab gives Latinitas' a solid basecamp to provide more access and STEM training to Latino parents and their children in Austin in the community where they live." Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Founder, COO, Latinitas.

About The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit http://www.LULAC.org.

About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, the Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit http://www.gm.com/gmfoundation.

About Latinitas
Latinitas, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to empowering Latina youth using media and technology, providing direct digital media and technology training and esteem-boosting services to nearly 3,500 girls and teens across Texas annually, 2000 in Central and 1500 more in West Texas. Latinitas envisions a future in which all Latinas are strong and confident in their image. Girls and families in Latinitas learn the latest Web 2.0 platforms to design websites, do graphic design, produce video, record audio, blog, do photography, invent social media campaigns, develop video games and mobile apps, coding and robotics ensuring new and diverse voices in media and technology. Latinitas also produces the first and still only magazine of its kind, Latinitasmagazine.org (25K monthly viewers) and its own social media network: MyLatinitas.com (1400 registered girls).

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Paloma Zuleta
LULAC
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