Technology is the driving force of today’s society. It would be hard to imagine a world without the technological advancements we’ve made over the years. It’s connecting us to different parts of the globe, operating our vehicles, and even helping to deliver us our favorite foods. Technology makes the world go around, yet there are still people who do not have adequate access to it. However, one nonprofit tech education company is on a journey to ensure that those in their communities are able to not only have the technological tools needed to survive, but have the capacity to leverage them to the maximum.
JOURNi was incorporated in 2015 by a group of young adults, Richard Grundy, Brian McKinney, and Quiessence Phillips, who’ve all had experiences in different cities with large ecosystems and wanted to bring pieces of that back to where their hearts remain, Detroit. The mission of JOURNi is to empower the underserved in their communities by not only providing them with technological resources, but also teaching them how to properly use them.
At first the organization catered to adults by providing them with an introduction to coding class and showing them different career paths within technology sector. Since then, it has expanded to children, even providing a summer jobs program where they learn about different technological aspects through workshops focused on technical topics, but they were also able to be compensated while doing so.
Richard Grundy, one of the cofounders, discussed JOURNi’ s vision for the years to come, and highlighted their three initiatives.
The first is the development shop digital agency that builds products along with websites to help bridge the gap between the 53% of small businesses who Grundy says do not use the same online tools as the larger competitors in the market, and push their brand and products.
Secondly, Grundy shares that JOURNi is looking to provide those with no computer and no internet, with hub houses within their neighborhoods in the inner cities of Detroit. This will be for those who are disconnected simply because they do not have access to the luxuries of high speed internet and computers.
Lastly the organization wants to cater to Detroit, the place that they call home, but they also are looking to expand to other cities where there are underprivileged indviduals. JOURNi wants to keep the momentum alive and continue to tap into the hearts of their residents by providing them with courses that start with the smallest aspect of technology such as computer literacy, and expands to teaching all people within their communities, young and old, things such as coding and programming. They’ve taken the initiative to create a path that the world does not provide for the underserved, and are making the JOURNi worthwhile along the way.
By: Shanique Yates
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