Fostering Change for Children Joins National PowerOn Program

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PowerOn kicks off a partnership with Fostering Change for Children with a donation of laptops and portable charging devices, which will be distributed to individuals who complete programming through the UpFront program.

UpFront group members

Yesterday marked the beginning of Fostering Change for Children’s participation in the nationally-operated PowerOn program, which provides housing-insecure LGBTQ+ youth with the technology they need to access crucial online resources.

Yesterday marked the beginning of Fostering Change for Children’s participation in the nationally-operated PowerOn program, which provides housing-insecure LGBTQ youth with the technology they need to access crucial online resources. PowerOn is donating two laptops, 13 portable power banks, and 20 USB drives to kick off the partnership with more donations to follow as needed. PowerOn will also donate two iPhones that were part of 20 iPhones donated at the end of last year to PowerOn by ecoATM Gazelle.

PowerOn works nationally to upcycle lightly used donated technology from individuals and companies, beginning with a certified wipe of all devices, followed by complete refurbishment and distribution to homeless and housing-insecure LGBTQ youth through a network of partner LGBTQ community centers and homeless shelters.

Fostering Change for Children (FCFC) works to help children and families by creating positive solutions to challenges within the child welfare system. FCFC’s newly launched UpFront program meets weekly, providing an affirming community of support for LGBTQ+ young people who have experience foster care and/or disconnection from family. The program aims to give young people tools to empower themselves and build their leadership skills, enhance personal development, and champion safety in their communities.

“FCFC is grateful and excited for this partnership with LGBT Tech and its PowerOn program," said Barry Chaffkin, LCSW, CEO and Co-Founder of Fostering Change for Children. "Providing digital connections, like cell phones, tablets, and laptops, helps each UpFront member reconnect and stay connected to loving, accepting family. Maintaining such relationships is paramount to every young person’s development and success.”

Each night as many as 1.6 million children and teens sleep on America’s streets. Over 40 percent, or 650,000, of these homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, which is larger than the population of Baltimore, MD. Many LGBTQ youth find themselves in homeless or housing-insecure situations after family conflicts over sexual orientation or gender identity. Technology is important for homeless and at-risk LGBTQ youth to stay connected with supportive networks and improve their personal safety. Phones and other devices often provide one of the only LGBTQ-safe and affirming access points to the Internet.

“As an adoptive foster care parent myself, bringing PowerOn to UpFront is not only an exciting opportunity for the program but is also extremely important to me personally,” said Christopher Wood, Executive Director of LGBT Tech. “So many LGBTQ youth deserve the much needed support while in foster care and continue to need support after they age out of the foster care system and organizations like FCFC have the opportunity to make a difference in ways we could never imagine. We are excited to see what the youth from UpFront bring to the PowerOn program.”

FCFC is PowerOn’s seventh fully operational partner location. Another 19 centers are expected to launch in 2018. Partnerships are an important part of PowerOn’s ability to expand rapidly after several years of exploring the value of technology for the youth it serves. PowerOn is operated by Straight But Not Narrow, human-I-T, The Trevor Project, and LGBT Technology Institute. If you have technology you would like to donate to the program please visit http://www.PowerOnLGBT.org.

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Ellie Bessette
LGBT Tech
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