LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One local group is working to bridge the digital divide, providing tech training for low-income families in Louisville.
Ten families graduated Tuesday night from the AMPED Family Learning Program. They’re leaving with skills that will help them get better jobs and earn more money.
Daddy-daughter duo Jay Muhammad and 8-year-old Ajia both graduated.
“There’s no programs like that, that bring the parent and the child together," Muhammad said. "We’re actually able to spend more time together and learn together so it’s been awesome.”
The community may recognize AMPED for the music classes it offers children. The non-profit’s relatively new family learning program is a 12-week course that teaches technology basics and is focused on serving African American low-income families for free.
“If we’re talking about bridging that digital divide, pulling people out of poverty, getting them to jobs with living wages -- then technology is something we need to be looking at,” AMPED Executive Director Dave Christopher said.
Families learned financial literacy and took music classes during the course, too.
“Just having those skills taught to our families will allow them to do more and to be more successful,” Project Manager Monica Stewart said.
The program is made possible through a partnership with Best Buy, Neustar and Humana.
Rodney Houston is one of the Humana IT professionals who volunteered to teach classes.
“To see the light bulb come on in the students’ faces when they understand technology and to see the hope -- because a lot of times they come in with no job prospects or any skill sets to improve their situation -- but to see them have a very high skill set to go into the market place and improve their situation is really encouraging to me,” Houston said.
Mayor Greg Fischer stopped by to congratulate the graduates.
“It pulls together the whole family so multi-generational learning, kid learning, parent learning, grandparent learning around both music and technology as well so it gives kind of that common family mission of strength to say, ‘We’re moving forward together so we can make our family better,'" Fischer said. "And when we make our families better, we make our neighborhoods better.”
In fact, Muhammad has already had a second interview for a job with a local tech company.
“I want to be an example to show others if I can do it, you can do it," Muhammad said. "And making (my daughter) start early so it’ll be easier and she won’t be catching up like I am.”