Introducing: the HandsOn Tech project

 

On August 29, 24 AmeriCorps VISTAs converged at Google headquarters to get familiar with the tools, strategies, and nonprofit know-how they’d need to succeed in a year dedicated to fighting poverty with technology solutions.

As part of the HandsOn Tech project, members were hand-picked to serve in seven cities across the country, providing nonprofit tech assessments and both nonprofit and community trainings. While the week-long training was the culmination of months of collaboration, it was only the beginning of a venture that aims to have a lasting impact on thousands in the low-income community.

As a joint venture of HandsOn Network, the Center for National and Community Service, and Google, Handson Tech was formed with the goal of bringing technology solutions to the nonprofit sector and bridging the digital divide. The project proposed to hit poverty from two angles: teaching practical technology skills to community members, and building nonprofit capacity through technology trainings and solutions, such as a cloud computing plan.

The week-long training, sponsored by Google and hosted by Seth Marbin, Debbie Newhouse, and Matt Severson, featured representatives from Microsoft, LinkedIn, YouTube, Salesforce, and Techbridge. Throughout the week, the VISTAs were given the opportunity to tinker with these tools and learn directly from experts, with an eye on how the various applications might be used in a nonprofit environment. Between meeting San Francisco nonprofits and teaching tech tricks of their own, the team cruised on Google bikes, sang karaoke, and discovered the wonders of the Google meal plan.

As we start the second half of our HandOn Tech year, follow us here for tips, updates, and stories from our team of change-makers. Stay tuned!

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