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AT&T sponsors ‘Y-BALE’ youth technology outreach program

An AT&T executive teaches youth about the importance and value of broadband technology.

Wireless carrier AT&T will be sponsoring for the first time in Puerto Rico its Youth for Broadband Awareness Literacy & Education program, looking to offer technology and computer training to youth through a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. The event will take place in Carolina, Dec. 1-2, News is my Business learned.

The goal of the “Y-BALE” program, which got its start last summer in Florida, is to teach children how to use technology and understand its value, said Ray Flores, regional vice president of A&T in an interview.

“We started this program to educate Puerto Rico youth regarding online safety and raise awareness of value of broadband access on the island, especially in non-urban communities,” Flores said.

Some of the topics that may be included in the agenda are “cyberbullying,” blogging by teenagers, how to create a YouTube channel and how to use broadband technology to remain connected and do homework, among others, he said.

As part of the Y-BALE initiative, children will use several media components running on broadband technology — radio, television, web streaming and in-person training — to create a one- to two- minute video to represent several technological tracks they will be learning about that day, said Flores.

So far, about 3,000 Florida children and youth have participated in the program that AT&T now is looking to repeat in Puerto Rico, possibly in San Juan in February, the executive noted.

“Our main goal is to strengthen knowledge on technology and educate youth because wireless broadband is the future,” he noted. “We also want to teach parents on how to watch their kids so they know how to block them from using the Internet to access pornography.”

Puerto Rico’s broadband penetration rate currently hovers at about 31 percent, which is the lowest among all of the U.S. jurisdictions.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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