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The Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade, with its long and historical record of providing a broad range of leading-edge education and training, health related information and screening, recreation, and a host of other services to the citizens of Los Angeles County, recently produced the winning team of students who competed in the Microsoft technology competition, the Teen Tech Challenge, that was created in conjunction with the Oscar de la Hoya Foundation.
"We are extremely proud of our students." Charisse Bremond, President and CEO of the Brotherhood Crusade said. " Jerry Walker, Program Director, as well as the winners, Marquis Liggins, Willie Ross, and Steven Garcia, deserve special recognition for their hard work and for delivering and presenting their winning project."
"The Teen Tech Challenge took place at several youth outreach organizations in Los Angeles and over 200 participants between 13 and 21 years of age completed a total of 80 projects." Microsoft Western Region Citizenship Director, Celeste Alleyne said. "The theme of the competition was "Tomorrow's Leaders in the Workplace" and first place honors were awarded to three students from the Brotherhood Crusade who created a videogame titled "Run Forrest Run."
Despite a struggling economy, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than 300,000 technology-related jobs remain unfilled for lack of qualified workers. At the same time, only five percent of American college undergraduates are pursuing degrees in science or engineering, compared to levels of 42 percent in countries like China and India.
"This need for technology employees presents an opportunity for future generations of young students to engage in technology careers and increase their chances to become part of the U.S. workforce when they graduate, Alleyne explained.
The Teen Tech Challenge was established to encourage teens and young adults to get excited about technology-related careers and build online communities through non-profit technology training programs. "At Microsoft, we strive to create special programs like the Teen Tech Challenge," Alleyne added, "providing youth with access to the latest technology, and inspiring them to realize their full potential.
In addition to the Brotherhood Crusade winners, the second and third place winners, from the Oscar de la Hoya Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles and Hollywood, participated with boxing champion Oscar de la Hoya in a very special lunch and award ceremony that was held at the Boys and Girls Club in Venice, California.
Not only did the individual participants and teams garner the distinction of winning a city-wide competition, they also were given an opportunity to chat with de la Hoya and received several gifts, prizes and software from Microsoft. In addition, Bremond announced that the Brotherhood Crusade winners will also receive laptop computers to further stimulate their technological learning endeavors.
In addressing the young people and their parents, de la Hoya said, "I am very proud to see so many young men and women participating in this challenge created by my foundation and Microsoft. It is very important that we offer our youth the tools they need to succeed in life, and an interest in science and technology careers that will widen their horizons and increase their chances of securing lifelong employment in the future."
He also noted that it is a path for success that is a lot easier than the one he chose to pursue as a professional boxer.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Through its Unlimited Potential vision, Microsoft is committed to making technology more affordable, relevant, and accessible for the five billion people around the world who do not yet enjoy its benefits.
"By working with governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and industry partners, Microsoft hopes to reach its first major milestone, to reach the next one billion people who are not yet realizing the benefits of technology, by 2015.
"I am very pleased with the relationship the Brotherhood Crusade has established with Ms. Alleyne and Microsoft." Bremond concluded. "Microsoft has been a huge corporate sponsor and with their generous support we have been able to bring technology into the communities we serve through adult and youth programs."