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Usher's Nonprofit And IBM Collaborate To Provide Underserved Youth Free Training In The Tech Space

Source: Usher Instagram Page

As reported by AFROTECH, Grammy-winning artist Usher's philanthropic organization, Usher’s New Look, is dedicated to increasing access to technology career paths for underserved youth.

According to Essence, Usher’s New Look has partnered with IBM’s SkillsBuild program to offer free tech training, including AI education, to young people supported by the nonprofit. IBM's SkillsBuild platform provides educational pathways and content, with a specific focus on career preparation resources.

Careshia Moore, CEO and President of Usher’s New Look | Source: Lourdes Sukari, The Artifact LLC

Careshia Moore, CEO and President of Usher’s New Look, stated, "We serve more than 1,500 youth per year, and all the students we serve will have access to SkillsBuild. AI is being infused into every part of our lives, particularly the workforce. We want to make sure that our young people are prepared for what’s coming."

Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President and Chief Impact Officer at IBM | Source: IBM

Justina Nixon-Saintil, Vice President and Chief Impact Officer at IBM, added, "In the United States, we very much focus on partnerships like Usher’s New Look, where we can bring the free training, the expertise from IBM, even job shadowing opportunities to the young people in high school, college, and adult learners as well, to make sure that they have these opportunities to move into a good paying job and be able to increase social and economic mobility."

Moore also explained that partnerships such as the one with IBM align with Usher’s overarching mission to support the next generation. "His ideas are implemented in the work that we do, and in fact, he coined this term culture of play that is often heard by our staff, lending to our overall impact," she said. "We work hard but we strive to infuse joy into the process of problem-solving and addressing opportunity gaps and inequity."

As previously reported by AFROTECH, Usher’s New Look, established in 1999, has positively impacted over 50,000 youth. In addition to technology, the nonprofit exposes youth to programs focused on education, financial literacy/financial wellness, professional development, wellness, and mental health to progress their futures. In 2021, it was the recipient of a $500,000 grant from Truist Foundation for its financial literacy programming.

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