BAIA Project: TechFitCreative
By Savannah Lira, Program Officer
At the start of 2020, Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (PVF) awarded grants to six young Bay Area residents with fresh ideas for building better communities. These awards were made possible through the Bay Area Inspire Awards, which provides $5,000 grants to 18-30 year olds living in San Francisco, Alameda, and San Mateo Counties. The following is a report from one of those awardees, Clinay Cameron. Her project, TechFitCreative, aims to expose underserved Oakland youth to creative and non-technical careers in tech, game, and production companies beyond their county borders.
TechFitCreative has officially launched the first pilot project, “Thrive Like Me” – a program designed to expose under-served black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) youth to alternate/creative career options in tech, game, and production companies. We’re creating opportunities to learn from people of color who look like them in these industries. We had our first tour to NETFLIX on February 26, 2020 and we brought over 25 Oakland youth and 5 chaperones from 3 different organizations to come on the tour, and it was a success.
The following week I began planning the next tour visit with my next company contacts, but due to COVID-19 the shelter in place was ordered shortly afterwards. This was challenging because several other unfortunate events followed shortly thereafter including George Floyd, the rise in COVID-19 fatalities within the black community and personal things including job loss for self sustainability.
We’re launching a virtual enrichment and mentorship program that’s open to underserved youth in BIPOC communities ranging from 15-21 in Oakland. We also want to continue planning to continue tours and eventually in-person programs by 2021.