“A nondescript storefront sits along 7th St., NW in Washington, DC, its windows peppered with bulletins and flyers, across from a far more ornate church. Despite its small and modest name, the storefront boasts an unusual amount of traffic, with teenagers and young adults flooding into the building at any given moment. What’s attracting these crowds is obvious to anyone who steps in to see dozens of young people working on computers, clustered in groups, eager to tease out the next puzzle and complete the next objective. This is Citiwide Computer School, a work-study program that emphasizes computer literacy and communication skills.
The program, initiated more than 20 years ago, was created to “give low-income families a second chance,” says Tanisha Murden, executive assistant and outreach specialist for Citiwide. Founder Anthony Chuukwu “wanted to extend his arms, give people chances,” she continued. “Coming here it’s really down-to-earth, it’s open-arms, and that’s where his mindset was at.”
More than just extending arms across the community, the program has spanned cultural and political divides, partnering with Islamic Relief to provide food for students in the program. Through a grant program administered by Islamic Relief, the partnership aims to demonstrate the Muslim community’s commitment to the many communities it serves, as well as its dedication to combatting childhood hunger… ”
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