Summer 2003

CTCs and Social Change: Success Story Contest Winners
by Mercedes Soto

We all know how incredibly valuable our work is to our community, but we also know that's not enough. Everyone else has to know it, too. One of the most important things we can do right now, given these uncertain budget times, is to develop and disseminate a compelling case for community technology centers.

CTCNet is working on a number of strategies to demonstrate and document the success and importance of our work. Sharing success stories that help put a face on the issues and challenges is one strategy that we introduced last year. And it is having an impact. We have collected thirty-six stories from CTCs around the U.S.

This year we have selected several topics of focus for the CTC Success Stories. The first topic was “CTCs and Social Change.” The work so many CTCs are doing to provide communities that are digitally disenfranchised with access to computers and the Internet is about creating social change. CTCs ensure that lack of economic resources does not prohibit people from engaging in technology enhanced learning opportunities. They provide individuals and communities that otherwise cannot afford it with opportunities to use technology to participate in an increasingly connected society.

Several CTCNet affiliates sent in stories about how they are helping community members to access and inform government services, promote civic participation, participate in the democratic process, and advocate to improve their communities.

CTCNet is pleased to announce the results of the Fourth CTC Success Story Contest. All of the entries were strong and it was difficult to choose the top three stories. After much deliberation, we have selected three winners:

  • "And We All SHiNE On…" relates the experience of a group of teens at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky who participated in a video conference with teens in Philadelphia and New York City. Eighth grader Aaron Harris said, "We learned about each others' different communities, about diversity, segregation, racism, and discrimination." The video conference also served to stimulate and motivate the youth to take action and tackle the issues in their own communities.
  • "SPiCYAM" is a personal success story about a young man, Rocky Myers, who walked a mile or so to attend digital video classes in Shawnee, OH. Through his participation in the center, Rocky produced video projects that have been shown at the Athens International Film Festival, Appalachian Film Festival, and the Buckeye Ranch Film Festival. A high school student who had poor grades, Rocky has since raised his GPA to 3.7 and plans to attend college to study filmmaking.
  • "Media Bridges' Success Story," exemplifies how various citizens in Cincinnati, OH are using television, radio, and the Internet to voice their concerns, to find solutions and share them.
  • The next success story contest will be announced at the annual conference in June. Future CTC Success Story Topics will include: (1) Success with Content Development, (2) Using Multi-Media and Digital Graphic Tools, (3) Intergenerational Activities in your CTCs, (4) Serving People with Special Abilities. Winners receive their choice of either free CTCNet conference registration or a one year extension on their current CTCNet membership.

    Mercedes Soto currently serves as the Project Director for The Community Technology Center (CTC) Accelerator at IT Resource Center.

    Post a comment

    Remember personal info?

    * Denotes required field.