On Monday in Crown Heights, the New York Liberty, Brooklyn Nets and Webull cut the ribbon on a new technology hub for Digital Girl Inc. that will give the public a free way to use technology and take computer development classes with the hope of promoting the idea of inner city youth, and girls in particular, going into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
2021 WNBA Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyenwere represented the Liberty at the ribbon-cutting.
The Liberty, Nets and Webull donated $250,000 in order for the hub to be created at Major Owens Center and also gave new desktop Macs, PC computers and a 3D printer. Courses will be offered in programming, web design, robotics, computing and data analysis, computer science and more.
Digital Girl has been around since 2014; its founder Michelle Gall’s goal was to get more women and people of color working in STEM. The nonprofit has allowed over 9,000 New Yorkers to learn about computer science subjects.
“A quarter of the residents in Central Brooklyn live below the poverty line and the pandemic only exacerbated this condition, highlighting that the digital divide is more like a digital canyon,” Gall said. “It is essential to equip this community with exposure, education, skills, training, and the confidence necessary to build wealth; to obtain positions that offer career advancement and competitive wages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, STEM occupations offer wages nearly 50% higher than non-STEM occupations and the goal of the DGI Tech Center is to fill the gap of STEM resources this community has lacked.”
“Exposure, opportunities, and access to resources are often life-defining factors in the future careers of young people of color,” said Keia Clarke, CEO of the Liberty. “In partnership with Webull and the Nets, this renovated space at Digital Girl will create boundless opportunities for the next generation of STEM leaders and the larger Brooklyn community.”