Natema, who manages a Comcast service center in Little Rock, grew up at her local Club in Conway, Ark., about 30 miles north of Little Rock. She spent many hours there after school reading books and, she jokes, learning to embrace her "inner nerd." Some days, she would strike up a game of pool with other Club members, or watch as the older boys would play basketball in the gym.
Her Club experience is one of the reasons she truly appreciates that one of Comcast and NBCUniversal’s biggest community partners is Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Our company supports one of every two of the 4,000 Clubs across the country.
Natema is also grateful for another reason for the partnership between Comcast and the Clubs.
Today, three of her four children, between the ages of 6 and 12, regularly attend the Penick Boys & Girls Club after school to complete their homework and participate in activities such as volleyball and basketball. They also go to the Club for all-day summer camp, where they get to enjoy fun trips, such as bowling and fishing.
"It gave me a safe place to go when I was a child, and the Club still helps me today with making sure my own kids have an outlet, so that I don’t have to worry about them between when school lets out and I get home from work," Natema said. "And most days they finish all their homework at the Club so that we can spend our evenings together as a family."
At the Penick Club, Natema’s children have an enriching environment in addition to their home – and passionate staff to guide them.
"The kids love Miss Jamie – she watches over them," Natema said. "When you can send your children someplace where you know they will be cared for, it gives you peace of mind."
For all those reasons, Natema was excited to learn that in the fall, Boys & Girls Clubs will have a new tool in their arsenal to make being a Club member even more exciting for her children.
Comcast and NBCUniversal are partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to launch My.Future, a revamped set of computer skills and digital media experiences that will provide Club members the ability to safely build, explore, and communicate in their own digital worlds. My.Future replaces Club Tech, the technology program that we have supported since 2010.
My.Future will begin with "Essentials," projects led by Club staff that will provide their members with foundational technology skills, such as Internet safety. My.Future will also introduce Club members to technology-related career fields, such as robotics, game design, and online journalism.
Over time, My.Future has the potential to reach the nearly four million youth who visit the more than 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs each year, and help them explore the ever-changing world of technology.
"My 10-year-old-son, Jhailen, loves to play video games," Natema said. "I’m hoping that a program like this can help him see a future where he can take something he loves and make it into a career."