Neighbors Empowering Youth

A local business whose mission is to provide access to computer and computer training to the underserved residents of Altadena and Pasadena.

I recently sat down with John Smith, the President and CEO of Neighbors Empowering Youth, and discovered a person whose heart is set squarely upon improving our community.

Smith works for FEMA, which is a national governmental organization that helps people in cases of national emergencies and catastrophes. So whether in his mainline or sideline, this man is in the business of helping people.

N.E.Y. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) service organization established to provide computers and computer training to the underserved youth of Altadena and Pasadena. Although their emphasis is usually upon the youth and young adults, Smith discussed the possibility of using their facility to teach a number of computer literacy classes for various age groups.

Even though I live about a mile from this business and drive by it almost daily, I knew very little about them prior to my meeting with Smith. This in essence is a good example of our .

It is not that we lack great resources in Altadena, but more the lack of getting the knowledge about them to the people that wants and need them.

During my first visit to the facility, a CERT training class was being held there that evening with about 30 students. This class recently graduated as their first CERT Training class through this facility.

The site is very suitable for large training classes. They have an overhead projector and multiple computer stations with both PC and Mac computers. In addition, they already teach classes on how to repair computers, build robotics and basic MS Office training. Their classes are offered in both English and Spanish.

How could such an organization sit right under our noses and only a few people know about them? It’s the same way that so many of our resources around here are relatively obscure.

Through the Parks and Recreation Department--along with the Altadena Public Library and the Senior Center--there are numerous free classes on a variety of subjects that would greatly enhance our community. But only a few people know about them, so only a few attend these classes. It is almost like having a million dollars in the bank and not know that you have it.

Shop Local

In a similar manner, many locals do not shop at our local businesses because they are not aware of what they offer. Somehow we must make an intentional afford to support our local merchants and businesses if they are to survive.

The first order of business is to make sure you are aware that they exist. That was the initial concern of my community unity initiative I recently wrote about.

N.E.Y. has the potential to become a key catalyst in educating people who need to be educated in computer technology. They could also serve as a place where community members may go if they do not have access to computers.

Smith’s dream is to use this facility as a community resource for accessing the communication highways.  In addition he desires to create more community unity in Altadena.

Although this is a nonprofit organization, perhaps we could circle the wagons around such a business, which intern could become a catalyst to bridge Altadenans closer as a community. NEY wants to make a difference for life, not just for a temporary fix.

This organization is not only about “Neighbors Empowering Youths,” but also about neighbors empowering our community. They are attempting to provide opportunities for people who are especially vulnerable to the effects of poverty, crime, gang involvement, unemployment, or those who are at academic risk.

Currently N.E.Y. is seeking recipients for their In Home Computer Initiative, which allows students to receive at no cost a computer multimedia system, training materials and membership.

In order to qualify for the program the recipients must meet the following criteria:

  • 1.) They must be from a low-income situation.
  • 2.) They must be in school and have a desire to improve themselves, and
  • 3.) Their primary caregiver must be willing to attend an eight-hour computer-training program with them.

Please contact John Smith or his staff at the facility during business hours for more details about the In Home Computer Initiative or to see if you and your child qualify. (626) 791-2095

What a great community organization. And they are located right here on the west side where we could certainly use a lot of empowerment for the people.

If you have a business or project that you feel would greatly enhance our community please feel free to contact us here at the Patch or the Blog so we might shine a spotlight on what you are doing as well.

jordan17 August 01, 2011 at 01:58 PM
I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, http://BuzzSave.com
Holly Rundberg August 01, 2011 at 03:07 PM
Greg, thank you for bringing this organization to light. It sounds amazing. I hope readers will share this information far and wide.
mister altadena August 01, 2011 at 03:36 PM
I'm curious as to what NEY (or any other business/group where people don't know about it) has/had done to promote itself throughout town. I pose this to any business or project that wants to spread the word about itself. Getting the "word" out has been a frequent topic on Patch but other than continuing to promote online, what are businesses doing to promote themselves? For better or worse, self promotion is the best method. Whether that's through blogs, social media, direct mail, ads in papers, a big sign in front of the business, trade organizations & flyers, the business owner needs to step up and make an effort to get the word out about themselves.
CSULA09 August 01, 2011 at 03:52 PM
My son participated in this program about a year ago. He signed a contract to assist with the program and upon completion was supposed to receive a laptop computer. My son never received the laptop and when he returned for his regularly scheduled day to volunteer we found the organization was closed. I left my name and number to be contacted and never received a phone call. My son was disappointed because he felt like he was working toward earning something and was essentially lied to. I hope NEY does a better job this time around with student volunteers.
Gregory Middleton August 01, 2011 at 05:51 PM
Please contact me directly because certainly I want to follow up on this matter. In addition I would like to make sure I put you directly in touch with Mr. Smith to see if this matter can be cleared up. You may contact me direct, "email the author" through this article. I will definitely assist you with this situation.
Linda Johnson August 02, 2011 at 04:39 PM
How many underserved African American and/or Latino/Hispanic youth (7-18 years of age) are enrolled or attend classes at NEY, Inc.? Are there any photos available that depicts these youth being actively engaged in various computer proficiency activities?
John Smith August 04, 2011 at 05:44 AM
Thank you for your comment, NEY has sponsored various afterschool programs over the past seven years and has awarded numerous desktop and laptop computers to the students that have completed the programs. We are more than willing to meet with you and your son to resolve this issue; but please be advised that our programs are designed to encourage the students to stay in school and complete given tasks as a team member... We don’t have and never had a program that rewards students for volunteer service. So if your son was in one of our programs and was overlooked at the time the computers were awarded, then by all means let’s get this resolved… I can best be reached at 626-791-2095 between the hours of 11am and 5pm and I look forward to hearing from you and your son John Smith President /CEO Neighbors Empowering Youth (NEY)
John Smith August 04, 2011 at 06:23 AM
Neighbors Empowering Youth (NEY) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) , service organization established in 1998 to provide computers and computer training to the under-served youth of the North-West Pasadena and Altadena communities who are especially vulnerable to the effects of poverty, crime, gang involvement, unemployment and are at academic risk. Our core after school programs are geared to service youth in the age range of 13-18 or in middle school and high school age groups. We focus on four key areas: • Digital Inclusion (In-home computer access) • Educational and Community Awareness Seminars and workshops • Multimedia Training • Electronics Technology and Robotics One of the goals of Neighbors Empowering Youth (NEY) is to help families and/or individuals with Computer Technology. Volunteers at NEY assist in the areas of Education, Mentorship, Robotics, Computer Technology etc. We also provide community training, counseling and agency referrals. Please visit oue website at http://www.neypcworkshop.org and click on the link for programs and checkout the slide show pictures. For more information please contact me at 626-791-2095 John Smith NEY


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