Donated Software Creates Computer Lab for At-Risk Youth in Iowa
Creative Visions is a human-development center dedicated to fostering more productive citizens, more viable neighborhoods, and a safer environment for the entire community. It was founded in 1996 to help at-risk youths and to address the use of drugs, gang violence, and crime in Des Moines, Iowa. By empowering youth to become prosperous and productive citizens, it aims to break the chain of poverty.
PLANET (Power Learning and Advancement through Next-generation Education and Technology) is Creative Visions' project and vision. The core of PLANET is Creative Visions' community resource center. This center includes a 15-terminal computer lab and four computers that are tied into the Iowa Workforce Development Center's network. Thanks to the Microsoft Donation Program, each computer runs Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise and is loaded with Microsoft Office 2007 Professional Plus Edition.
The computer lab is the hub of many of its services. Creative Visions' Alternative-Suspension Program enables youth who have been suspended from school to continue their education. Instead of staying home, these students choose to go to Creative Visions. Its computer lab allows them to continue learning using Microsoft Office while they are out of school. CV's youth groups are able to research projects using the Internet and Microsoft Office products. These groups partake in game nights on the Microsoft Xbox.
In its employment assistance program, CV helps with job searches, offers resume-writing assistance at its computer lab, provides interviewing practice, and also mentors new hires. The Creative Visions computer education program is a 12-to-16-week program that allows students to learn how to operate Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office. Graduates are also provided a refurbished computer from a local business.