Magic Helps HP Overcome Digital Divide in Seattle

3/8/2004 - HP and the Magic Johnson Foundation continued their community technology initiative aimed at providing underserved communities with access to technology skills and job opportunities with the opening of the 13th Magic Johnson/HP Inventor Center.

Partnering with Seattle's seven-year-old Technology Access Foundation (TAF), the HP and Magic Johnson Foundation grant will help create TAF's first standalone TechStart lab offering comprehensive technology training, skills development and access to online services for community residents, with an emphasis on children ages 5-13.

Twelve inventor centers have already been established in inner-city communities throughout Los Angeles, Washington, Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Houston, Lansing, Mich., and Miami. HP's combined investment totals $1.4 million over a three-year rollout.

"Many people take computer technology for granted because it's such a major part of our society now, but imagine not having the education or ability to access computers," said Earvin "Magic" Johnson, founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation. "Thanks to organizations with a strong sense of responsibility like HP, my foundation can come into the community and enhance programs like TAF by providing invaluable resources and technology equipment."

The Magic Johnson Foundation and HP selected TAF for its leadership and commitment to preparing underserved students for success through technology, life skills training and career mentoring. The Magic Johnson/HP Inventor Center will feature a powerful lineup of HP commercial and consumer products - from servers, desktop and notebook PCs, to printers, projectors and digital cameras.

"The partnership between HP, the Magic Johnson Foundation and the Technology Access Foundation reflects the commitment to a simple proposition - equality in opportunity," said Washington Governor Gary Locke. "We want every student - regardless of location, regardless of background, regardless of district resources - to have access to essential tools to help them plan their careers and pursue a college education.

"Our kids are growing up in the age of the Internet. Resources that my generation would never have dreamed about are at their fingertips, but only as long as we give them the tools they need to tap into this wonderland of knowledge. They will need it to compete and succeed in the high-tech 21st century global economy."

"HP strives to close the gap between technology-empowered and technology-excluded communities," said Greg Wallace, vice president, Imaging and Printing Group, HP. "Through our partnership with the Magic Johnson Foundation, HP is able to focus our resources so that we have a greater impact on communities by integrating technology in a way that truly improves their way of life."

"We must take the digital divide to the next step," said Trish Millines Dziko, founder, TAF. "HP, the Magic Johnson Foundation and Microsoft have enabled us to reach more of Seattle's children and families, and provide them with not just access to computers but with the essential technology skills and early mentoring that will open doors for them, academically, personally and professionally as young adults."

The Magic Johnson/HP Inventor Center at TAF will specialize in technology education for children ages 5-13, known as TechStart. TechStart is an after-school program that assesses each child's progress in reading and math and designs personal, technology-based curriculums to reinforce critical thinking, problem solving and basic academic skills.

Other sponsors supporting the Magic Johnson Foundation/HP Inventor center include DHL, Freddie Mac and Eastwind Consulting Group.

About TAF
TAF is a non-profit foundation that prepares underserved students of color for success in a technology-driven world by providing technology and life skills training. Founded in 1996, TAF has provided technical training to more than 500 students living primarily in Seattle's South and Central Districts. TAF has three programs that bring technical exposure and training to kids of color from kindergarten to college.

About the Magic Johnson Foundation
The Magic Johnson Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on improving and addressing the health, educational and social needs of those residing in the inner city. In addition, the Foundation has made a strong commitment to raise awareness about several health and social concerns that threaten under-served communities. Founded in 1991 by basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the Foundation has raised more than $20 million for charity.

About HP
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the last four fiscal quarters, HP revenue totaled $74.7 billion. More information about HP (NYSE, Nasdaq: HPQ) is available at

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: