Bridging The Digital Divide
The 'CPU' part of the CPU-4-U name stands for Central Processing Unit, which is the heart of the computer. The '4-U' means 'For The University Area,' which is the primary community we serve. There are approximately 17,000 youth in this community but not many have at-home access to computers. CPU-4-U aims to help 'Bridge the Digital Divide' in our community by:
- Increasing Participant Knowledge of Hardware Terminology
- Developing Computer-building Skills
- Providing At-home Access to Computers
During the program participants learn the to identify each component of the computer and its various functions. Each child demonstrates his/her technical knowledge by making presentations to various groups including Youth As Resources (YAR), the USF Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. One presentation to YAR won the youth a $2,000 donation to the project.
CPU-4-U relies on donations of computers from various agencies and individual donors. Our participants then learn how to take the computers apart, test working parts, and refurbish the computers under the guidance of technology mentors.
At-home Access To Computers
Participants are rewarded with a refurbished computer that they have helped to build. Once the computer goes home, children have the opportunity to improve their academic performance and the ability to work on furthering their computer literacy skills at home as well as at the YEA! Center.