Techbridge Girls: Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time Grantee Profile
SOWA is excited to work with the many amazing organizations funded through the King County Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time (BSK OST) investment! These organizations, funded either as stand alone People of Color-Led organizations or Place-Based Partnerships, are all working hard to maximize their positive impact on King County youth.
Learn more about Techbridge Girls, funded as one of the organizations involved in a Place-Based Partnership Grant.
Techbridge Girls is a member of two Place-Based Partnerships. They serve the Creston Point housing community in unincorporated Skyway with Somali Youth and Family Club and Urban Family Center, as well as the Highlands Neighborhood Center with the City of Renton and Centro Rendu. They are a national nonprofit that has been operating for 18 years in Oakland, 4 in Seattle, and 3 in Washington, D.C. They work to “excite, educate, and equips girls from low-income communities by delivering high-quality STEM programming that empowers a girl to achieve economic mobility and better life chances.”
Techbridge runs programs at the elementary, middle, and high school level at 9 schools in the Highline School System, providing after-school hands-on STEM programming for girls. Elementary school programs are run by elementary teachers in 5th and 6th grade for 12 weeks, while middle and high school programs run all year with teachers and Techbridge staff.
Integral Techbridge offerings are field trips, role model visits, and professional development support. They also offer family engagement workshops, previously partnering with Somali Youth and Family Club and Para Los Niños.
With the BSK OST Investment, Techbridge is able to experiment with delivering services outside of a school ground. They’re excited to see if this model works, then hopefully expand into other community centers, housing complexes, and out-of-school/non-traditional spaces. They’ve also been able to expand professional development services for educators who are not school teachers, including training City of Renton staff to provide high caliber STEM programming to boys. Entering Renton for the first time, Techbridge is also expanding their geographic service area.
All of this means that ultimately, they’re able to serve more girls. They are in 2 additional elementary schools, and 2 additional middle schools. These funds are building staff capacity to work with different partners as well as providing staff valuable experience with contracts and grants management. All of this allows their executive director to devote more attention to fundraising.
While starting new partnerships can be challenging, SOWA provides structure and resources to aid in this process. By providing two different roll-out timelines (Phase 1 and Phase 2) as well as targeted SEL training and YPQ coaches, we ensure that all grantees have the time they need to prepare for delivering high quality services. Techbridge is grateful that SOWA is playing a support role, such as overseeing contracting, which things easier to manage on sites so they can focus on programming.
The Place-Based model increases access to high quality programming! The targeted investments provide an opportunity for underserved youth who may not otherwise be involved in after-school programs to participate as these services are now being delivered in neighborhood centers or within housing communities. Techbridge is excited to be able to further their mission to increase access to STEM for low-income girls through the BSK OST investment.