Plugged In – Learning Through Technology

Plugged In connects individuals and cultivates minds by creating the opportunity to produce, express, and contribute using technology. Our vision is a community in which opportunities abound for people to contribute and innovate. Plugged In’s primary medium is Internet and computer technology and we would like to use television and radio as time, resources, and opportunities allow.

Since its establishment as a volunteer grassroots effort in 1992, Plugged In has evolved into a nationally acclaimed organization operating three innovative high impact programs:

Young Producers Program: A youth-operated Web and video production business. Clients include Hewlett-Packard Company and One East Palo Alto. Seventy percent of students who participate in the program enroll in computer science classes and 85% of program graduates pursue post-secondary degrees.

The East Palo Alto Community Network: A portfolio of nine Technology Access Points led by emerging community leaders and housed in a diverse range of community-based organizations serving the most in-need residents: East Palo Alto Senior Center, Light Tree Apartments, Free at Last, City Team Ministry, OICW, St. Samuel Church, Cesar Chavez Parent Resource Center, Belle Haven Parent Resource Center, and Hepeloni School. All the organizations are working to better serve their clients by incorporating technology. An online resource center where community members and organizations can find valuable information, current news, tools that assist them in achieving their individual and community goals, and opportunities to get engaged in community affairs. In one year, has attracted over 1000 subscribers and 35 content developers from the community.

Plugged In has been cited – in the press and by public and private officials – as a model for ensuring that low income communities have the opportunity to benefit from telecommunications and computer technology. It has been featured in Fast Company, the San Jose Mercury News, and Ms. Magazine. President Bill Clinton, United States Secretary of Commerce Don Evans, and former Chairman of the FCC William Kennard have visited the organization. Its local activities generate international attention and, each year, Plugged In receives visits from more than 75 people and organizations interested in learning about its programs and activities.

Plugged In receives support from a broad range of individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources. Funders include Hewlett-Packard Company, SBC, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, and the Technology Opportunities Program at the United States Department of Commerce.

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