Powering the Possible with Youth Learning

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When I talk about Dell’s youth learning programs, I can cite bevy of statistics that demonstrate our work to close the learning gaps for children without access to quality facilities, teachers and tools to learn. Roughly 72 million school-aged children around the world don’t attend school. We work in 11 countries (including Panama, Canada and the United States, newly launched last year) with 56 nonprofits. More than 5,400 global Dell team members volunteered with those programs in 2011.

But from my time visiting the nonprofits with which we work, I know that the most meaningful story is about one: one person’s life we affected to — we hope — make possible what seemed impossible.

I’d like to share a particular story from one of my Dell colleagues, Magda Bataioli:

Magda Bataioli

“When I was growing up in Brazil, I never imagined that I would pursue a career in information technology. In fact, I didn’t even consider it possible – my community had extremely limited access to technology resources and IT education. Today I am a member of Dell Brazil’s Tech Support team, and I am furthering my education through advanced technical courses.

“When I was 16, I joined a Dell-supported initiative to provide IT education to low-income youth and promote social sustainability. I participated in the digital inclusion classes from 2003-09, and was one of many children who benefitted from programs throughout Brazil.

“At the time I started, I hadn’t many plans for my life, but as classes moved forward, I started to think about my future and developed an interest in information technology. Shortly after the program, I enrolled in a preparatory course for instructors and became a teacher for students of the project for three months. Right after that, I joined the technical support team of a transportation company and also enrolled in a PC maintenance course.

“I finished my technical course in computing and became a member of Dell Brazil. I credit Dell for helping me choose a career – a decision that made the difference in my life story and changed my view of the world.”

When I travel to nonprofits to see their work, I meet many students like Magda. I can see how technology opens their view of the world, and their place in it. Take, for example, our work with the Boys & Girls Club of Austin:

To learn more about this and other work in youth learning, visit www.dell.com/youthlearning.

About the Author: Michele Glaze