News :: Local

Time Warner Gives $50,000 Grant for New AFC Learning Lab

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Tuesday Dec 25, 2012
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Time Warner Cable brought some smiles to kids’ faces with the recent announcement that it would provide a $50,000 grant to outfit the Ali Forney Center with a state-of-the-art technology center for their homeless and at-risk LGBT youth. TWC Business Class has offered to provide complimentary high-speed Wideband Internet access, plus HD DVR and TV services.

"Time Warner Cable is excited to offer a TWC Learning Lab to the Ali Forney Center, the first LGBT services organization to receive this state-of-the-art facility from us," said John Quigley, Time Warner Cable’s Regional Vice President of Operations for NYC. "We are proud to partner with an organization that serves as a strong voice for homeless LGBT youth in NYC and across the nation. The Time Warner Cable Learning Lab will feature programs and resources that will assist youth in their educational and career development needs as they grow from adolescence to adulthood."

The Time Warner Cable Learning Lab will be housed at the Ali Forney Center’s new 24-hour drop-in center in Harlem for homeless LGBT youth, the first of its kind in the nation. The Learning Lab will officially open during the first quarter of 2013.

Earlier this year, Time Warner Cable was honored at the Ali Forney Center’s annual A Place at the Table benefit dinner for its support and advocacy of homeless youth and the LGBT community, including the Learning Lab grant. Shortly after that event, floodwaters from Hurricane Sandy destroyed AFC’s 24-Hour Drop-In Center, forcing them to raise additional funds and temporarily relocate to the LGBT Community Center.

"We want nothing more for our kids than for them to escape homelessness and rebuild their lives. Gaining education and employment skills are the keys to better futures for them," said AFC’s Executive Director Carl Siciliano. "We are so profoundly grateful to TWC for their generosity and dedication in helping us provide state of the art technology services to assist us in building better futures for the homeless LGBT youths of NYC."

"If a young person, alone and homeless, would just come into the AFC’s drop-in center for access to the Internet via the Learning Lab, then perhaps they would discover the other fantastic, life-changing services the Center could provide."

Time Warner Cable’s Vice-President of Communications told EDGE that he hoped that the computer center would act as a draw to bring at-risk youth in, to learn about the resources AFC offers.

"We felt that even if a young person, alone and homeless, would just come into the AFC’s drop-in center for access to the Internet via the Learning Lab, then perhaps they would discover the other fantastic, life-changing services the Center could provide him or her," said VP of Communications Bobby Amirshahi. "Furthermore, the TWC Learning Lab will provide the technology and caring environment for any client to learn and access the world."

The company is committed to investing more than $2 million to establish 40 Learning Labs in neighborhoods and communities it serves in New York City, which include Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. The initiative began in 2010 and, since that time, Time Warner Cable has opened six labs; the Brooklyn Navy Yard is the site of the next Learning Lab to open.

"We have always invested in young people through Cable in the Classroom and now through our STEM program, Connect a Million Minds," added Amirshahi. "And when we say young people; we mean all young people -- gay, straight and otherwise. Carl and his team at AFC do remarkable work for our City and we’re proud to be called their partner."

For more info, visit www.timewarnercable.com or www.aliforneycenter.org

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/

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