Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands Inspires Kids with Donated Software
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands is one of the largest youth-service agencies in the Omaha metro area. It helps kids in seven locations across Omaha Carter Lake and Council Bluffs. Its mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need it most, to realize their full potential as productive responsible healthy and caring citizens. Currently the organization helps more than 8,500 children.
The organization has been at the forefront of youth development for over 45 years, and technology has been a strategic tool in developing that position. In 2002 it started with only three slow servers, 25 work stations, Microsoft Small Business Server, and a few Microsoft Office applications to share among seven locations. Thanks to Microsoft donations through TechSoup, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands has grown its capacity to make a deep impact in thousands of children's lives. It now has over 250 workstations, Microsoft's Exchange 2007, Microsoft Windows 2008 Server, Office 2007, Visio, and other Microsoft productivity software. BGCM is also a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher and has distributed more than 100 computers to those in need in the community.
The organization saw this donation as a way to promote technology development for youth. BGCM started the MIRACLES Technology Academy, where kids can learn everything from basic computer skills to creating videos to advanced robotics. Every child has the opportunity to learn advanced skills like design and programming. This exposure to technology kick-starts youths, helping them realize that they can build a career in these fields that they had never imagined. Alumni of the program move on to college and are able to major in fields like engineering and computer science. Some are already working in a science, technology, or engineering field and often come back to to BGCM to help mentor other youths.