A Crown Heights technology hub has been unveiled by Digital Girl, Inc., a Brooklyn non-profit organization, to encourage inner city youngsters, particularly young females, to pursue professions in STEM. The new location will assist Digital Girl in serving the neighborhood by giving everyone free access to technology and classes for computer development. The Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty, and Webull—the official jersey partner of the Nets and Liberty—contributed $250,000 to the project’s completion.
By donating brand-new desktop Macs, PCs, and a 3D printer for the computer center, The Nets, Liberty, and Webull assisted Digital Girl in developing their new technology hub in the renovated Major Owens Center. In the Learning Zone provided by Webull, Brooklyn Nets, and NY Liberty, where Digital Girl will hold free workshops and classes for the local community, the groups are also sponsoring programming activities. Children, adults, and seniors will all have access to technology classes and certification opportunities, with options including programming, web design, robotics, computers and data analysis, computer science, and other topics.
Michelle Gall launched Digital Girl in 2014 to enhance the representation of women and people of color in STEM fields (as of 2016, only 2% of black women were working in science and engineering). Since its inception, Digital Girl has taught computer science to more than 9,000 students in New York City.
“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.”
With regard to Digital Girl, The Nets and Liberty have a long-standing partnership. Most recently, as part of the company’s day of service, volunteers from both teams created a mural in front of the technological hub.
“One of the larger ways in which the Nets align with Digital Girl is our shared commitment to serving the Brooklyn community,” said Sam Zussman, CEO of BSE Global, parent company of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. “DGI is doing incredible work to increase representation of women and people of color in STEM professions and their work is more important than ever. We are proud to have played a part in launching this technology center alongside our partners at Webull, whose remarkable work strives to break barriers in the STEM industry.”
“Exposure, opportunities, and access to resources are often life-defining factors in the future careers of young people of color,” said Liberty CEO Keia Clarke. “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.”
Another illustration of Webull’s dedication to supporting the local Brooklyn community is the refurbishment of the Digital Girl technology hub. During the upcoming NBA and WNBA seasons, Webull will contribute thousands of tickets to Nets and Liberty games, with the tickets going to various nonprofit organizations and community groups from New York City. The underserved community will be able to enjoy both teams’ eagerly anticipated seasons thanks to this donation.
“We are proud to have partnered with Digital Girl to develop the new technology hub as a way to better support our local New York community,” said Anthony Denier, CEO of Webull. “We have always been committed to improving financial literacy and empowering the next generation of investors, and providing educational resources for underserved communities in Brooklyn marks a crucial step forward.”
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