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North Lawndale Technology Center Opens Its Doors and Opens Horizons for Hundreds

Published 06-21-00

Submitted by Freddie Mac Foundation

The vision of a new technology center in one of Chicago’s most underserved areas became a reality. Today’s opening of the Lawndale Legacies Community Technology Center (LLCTC) represents the combined efforts of the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC) and the Freddie Mac Foundation to create a place for learning and increased opportunities.

“This technology center will help to close the digital divide that separates so many in the Lawndale community from better jobs, better schools and a higher standard of living,” said Richard Townsell, LCDC Executive Director. “We applaud the Freddie Mac Foundation for recognizing a critical need in a underserved community and meeting that need. This center will help to enrich and revitalize an entire community.”

With only 20 percent of urban Chicago households having computers compared to 80 percent of the suburban Chicago households, the need for the center was critical. This cutting-edge center will help tap the potential of Lawndale youth, helping them aspire to even brighter futures.

“This center will enable and empower the residents of North Lawndale to actively participate in the information age,” explained Shane Salter, Director of Giving, Freddie Mac Foundation. “By providing access to technology, we are removing a significant barrier in the lives of these children and families, and are preparing them for a brighter future.”

The technology center will house state-of-the-art computer equipment, provide Internet access and software, and will be accessible to children and their parents from throughout the community. Activities and programs of the Center will include early childhood computer education; elementary and high school after-school classes and tutoring; and career development and job preparation. Programs will also be geared toward preparing students to compete for internships and professional opportunities in the high tech industry.

The Lawndale Community Church established LCDC in 1987 to bring holistic revitalization to the lives and environments of North Lawndale residents as well as provide economic development, housing improvement, educational enrichment and community advocacy services.

“I am so happy that my children now have access to tools that will help make them successful. Technology is changing the world, and I want my family to be part of those changes. This center will help make that possible, and I am thankful,” said Cynthia Acre, Lawndale parent.

The Freddie Mac Foundation is dedicated to brightening the future for children, youth, and families at risk and will grant $20 million this year to organizations working to prevent child abuse and neglect, find homes for foster children, and strengthen early childhood education opportunities. This new technology center helps contribute to these goals through the career development, technology training and computer education that will be provided to the children and families of North Lawndale.

The Foundation’s total giving in the Chicago area now exceeds more than $3.3 million since expanding its giving program to the city in 1996. Some of the Foundation’s other grants benefiting North Lawndale include $125,000 to the Carole Robertson Center for Learning to provide early childhood education and other family support services; $45,000 to Big Brothers/Big Sisters to provide mentoring services for children; $100,000 to the Children's Research Triangle to provide support services for foster children and their families; and $295,000 to the Sinai Community Institute to support a comprehensive family service center and increase access to early childhood education programs.

Created by Freddie Mac in 1990 under the leadership of Chairman Leland C. Brendsel, the Freddie Mac Foundation is dedicated to brightening the future for children, youth, and families at risk. As one of the largest corporate funders in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Freddie Mac and the Freddie Mac Foundation have invested nearly $80 million in nonprofit organizations serving children and families.

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