Kentucky State University celebrates partnership with AT&T for 4-H Tech Changemakers

FRANKFORT – Kentucky State University celebrated a $10,000 sponsorship donation from AT&T for 4-H Tech Changemakers, a program that empowers youth to be leaders by teaching digital skills to adults.

4-H Tech Changemakers uses the “Teens as Teachers” model so that youth participants can be agents of change through teaching digital literacy to adult members of underserved communities. Kentucky State has facilitated the 4-H Tech Changemakers program in past years; with AT&T’s generous sponsorship, Kentucky State’s 4-H Youth Development team will rebuild the program.

“More than 20 million people in the U.S. lack broadband internet access,” commented Kentucky State University’s President, Dr. Koffi C. Akakpo. “Combined with a lack of digital skills, this contributes to a growing opportunity gap, particularly for minority and rural populations.”

“The thing that excites me most about 4-H Tech Changemakers is it gives teens the opportunity to be teachers to adults,” said Casey Townsend, 4-H Extension Associate. “This also gives teens leadership skills needed to make an impact on their community and gives them strong skills that can be added to their resumes.”

The digital divide— defined as the lack of digital literacy skills and, in some cases, a lack of access to the Internet— creates an opportunity gap, particularly for those in rural communities and communities of color. Participants in 4-H Tech Changemakers seek to meet digital needs to begin closing that divide.

“Digital inclusion is very important. It’s at the heart of what AT&T does every day,” said Carlos E. Sanchez, President of AT&T Kentucky. “We’re very excited to see 4-H collaborating with the Teens Tech Program, where you’re actually having teens teach digital literacy to adults.”

Kentucky State’s 4-H team is currently recruiting teens to be part of 4-H Tech Changemakers. Interested teens should fill out this form.