Dell believes this is an example of the true power of our technology and expertise in action. Dell and our learning partner the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI), an organization focusing on transforming low-income communities through information and communication technologies, share a common goal of making technology more accessible to resource-challenged youth. Dell’s giving program and our learning initiatives are designed to give others the power to do more through Dell’s donation of technology, expertise and employee volunteers.

Established in 2008, the U.K. division of CDI established its Apps for Good program on the unique idea to provide specific training for low-income youth to use, design and
dell learning partner: center for digital inclusion
develop mobile and web applications that address community needs. This training equips them with in-demand skills to truly change their lives and our world.

For CDI, the Dell Youth learning grant enabled the Apps for Good program to grow immediately — it went from serving a single school in the South London borough of Lambeth in 2010 to serving 1,300 students in 45 schools across the U.K. only one year later.

Dell team members making a difference for Youth Learning initiatives

As part of Dell’s employee engagement program, Dell team members have the opportunity to volunteer and offer their expertise as judges on the quarterly app review panel called Dragons’ Den, and in an Apps for Good feature shown on the british broadcasting corporation (BBC)’s "Blue Peter" children’s program.

"Dell engages in the program on all levels — financial, technology and volunteer expertise — from team building and market research to building a business model and presenting your findings," said Debbie Forster, interim chief executive officer for CDI Europe — Apps for Good. "The partnership has been powerful in broadcasting what we do more widely and encouraging student participation."Claire Ramage, a Dell employee and giving champion, has volunteered as a review panel judge and discussed the benefits the Apps for Good program provides to both students and volunteers. "Young people think about problems in a different way," said Claire. "It’s inspiring to get their perspective because they come up with solutions you never would have imagined. The students consistently surprise me with the professionalism and courage they develop, the girls in particular."

Claire is an example of how we welcome our partners, such as CDI, to leverage the know-how of Dell staff and volunteers to get the help, advice and tools they need to build a framework for success.

With any learning partner, Dell goes beyond providing state-of-the-art Dell technology and also offers the expertise to implement it. Following a workshop to determine the Dell technology that best fits CDI’s needs, Dell provided one flat screen monitor, three Vostro™ laptops and 267 Dell Streak tablets for the Apps for Good program, which offer large screens to make it easy for teams to review their work together.

Course benefits

As the Apps for Good website explains, the course takes students through an entrepreneurial process whereby they identify challenges they face before designing a way of fixing it with a mobile app. They then present their ideas to professional application designers and developers, an invaluable exercise for building self-confidence.

Course graduates have created an app that enables young people to learn more about attending university and another app that helps young musicians find a studio. In 2011 alone, students generated nearly 300 app ideas. The Apps for Good website features information about students’ app ideas, including videos of team members and links to download the apps from the Android Market.

Continuing to evolve a successful program

Dell is working to further engage with the Apps for Good program through new volunteer opportunities at Garth Hill College near Dell’s U.K. offices in Bracknell. With a dedicated school so close, Dell team members can share their expertise on a more regular basis.

Dell and CDI continue to innovate the Apps of Good program, with additions such as virtual mentoring via Skype™, which allows volunteers to share their expertise with students across the country.