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Local Teen Wins Trip and Hands-on Tech Experience

Best Buy Children’s Foundation and Microsoft Honor

National Club Tech Digital Arts Festival Winner

Holyoke, Mass. (July 28, 2008) – Summer vacation is usually a time reserved for students to get a break from school, but for one local youth learning continued with a hands-on tech experience in Minneapolis. Christian Agron, 15, was awarded an expense-paid summer trip by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Microsoft and Best Buy Children’s Foundation for winning the National Club Tech Digital Arts Festival in Web Design.

After winning contests on the local and regional levels, Agron, was named one of 16 winners from across the globe. More than 900 entries covering five categories—photo illustration, music production, Web design, filmmaking and graphic design—were submitted to the contest that encourages youth to combine art with the technology skills they learn through the Club Tech program.

The 2007-2008 theme for the competition was “Our Changing World” and challenged youth to show ways in which they could impact the world.  Agron developed a Web site equipping viewers with information and tools to do their part in changing the world with Recycling.

For his win, Agron had the opportunity to experience first-hand career opportunities that lie ahead through behind-the-scenes tours at Best Buy’s corporate office and Microsoft. Employees from various departments of both companies shared career choices and personal experiences with the winners, opening their worlds to a vast landscape of technology careers. The group also completed projects alongside students at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and experienced some of Minneapolis’s top tourist destinations, including the Walker Art Center, the Science Museum and Mall of America.

By 2010, more than 77 percent of all jobs in the United States will require some tech ability. And as the knowledge economy continues to evolve, more and more American workers will need higher levels of technology skills training and education to compete successfully in the global economy.

The Club Tech partnership between BGCA, Microsoft and Best Buy Children’s Foundation helps to combat this trend and promote technology knowledge and skill in America’s youth by providing access to technology and educational programming. The Digital Arts Festivals National Winners’ trip is one way Club Tech levels the “virtual playing field,” giving youth the opportunity to explore technology on a level that may not otherwise be available.

“This phenomenal experience for our young people truly embodies the mission of our organization and gets at the very core of what we are committed to doing—providing hope and opportunity,” said Roxanne Spillett, CEO and president, Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  “Thanks to Microsoft and the Best Buy Children’s Foundation, we are not only able to provide them with the necessary skills needed to excel in today’s technology driven world, but we’re also able to help them see where those skills can take them.”

For more information or to see his Website, please visit www.myclubmylife.com.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Club Tech Program

Club Tech was created by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) and Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) in 2000 to technology enable Clubs worldwide, transforming Clubs from “swim & gym” to “point and click.”  Partnering with long-time supporter Best Buy Children’s Foundation (www.bestbuy.com/communityrelations) and Microsoft, BGCA provides technology program access to some 4.8 million youth served through a network of more than 4,300 Clubs through community outreach and membership.  By leveling the “virtual playing field,” kids of all ages and circumstances now have access to the same resources and skills to help them discover their world; expand creativity; perform better in school, and eventually take their technology know-how into the workplace.

 

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