The Look Ahead: Andrew Coy, Executive Director of the Digital Harbor Foundation

The Digital Harbor Foundation Federal Hill Technology Center (DHF) is a place where many young people in Baltimore get their first taste of what a career in science, technology, engineering, and math can be like.

In this week’s episode of the video interview series Looking to the future, executive director of the DHF Andrew Coy spoke about the work the association has done over the past 18 months, the lessons the organization has learned from the pivot points made in 2020, and what young people need to be successful in tech.

“A lot of times we hear young people say, ‘When am I going to use it someday? ”, Said Coy. “Out of context, much of the valuable and important content that young people need to learn just doesn’t make a lot of sense. My question is, how do we contextualize learning and apply it to the real world issues around us? If you have the combination of access and just-in-time learning with a real-world problem you’re trying to solve, it’s absolutely inspiring to see what the young people are going to do – the way they are going to put in. spot and solve for problems that really matter.

It was a conversation about the solutions DHF is working on and the urgent need to address digital equity and connectivity issues. Coy doesn’t want to wake up years from now feeling like he could have, or should have, done more.

“My point is that we have to solve this problem and not fix it,” Coy said, citing the philosophy of Gary Bonner of Pc for people on bridging the digital divide. “We have to think about which structures should be different. The Internet has evolved from a private luxury good to a utility. Whether this is regulated as a public service is not for me to say. But seeing it as a public service, we need to make sure people have connectivity, as the implications for health, economy and education are similar to having no running water. “

Watch our conversation here:

Here is the audio version:

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member of Report for America, an initiative of the Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation. -30-

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