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On the Issues: Society and Technology 

A Chance for Every Child

Technology can help open doors and level the playing field.

Published: June 17, 2009

Clay Street Computer Learning Center
Read about this jewel in “a neglected corner of Annapolis.”

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Mary Wolf, Executive Director, Clay Street Computer Learning Center, Annapolis, Maryland
Mary Wolf, Executive Director, Clay Street Computer Learning Center, Annapolis, Maryland

Children who live in a poor inner-city neighborhood deserve the same chances in life as any other child.

This has guided my work for more than 15 years, ever since I quit my job as a producer at NBC News to create a computer lab, with help from Microsoft, at Martha’s Table soup kitchen in Washington, DC.

As kids quickly flocked to the lab, I saw how technology access and skills could open up a world of opportunities. So I knew what I needed to do when, having moved to Annapolis, I discovered a crime-ridden neighborhood known as Clay Street.

With Microsoft’s support, the Clay Street Computer Learning Center has become a safe and welcoming storefront that children run to straight from school to use computers for research projects and other homework. In summer, Center kids attend all-day computer camp.

This graduation season I proudly watched one of our students receive his college diploma nine years after entering our bright red door on Clay Street. Another of my former students will work at the Center this summer and graduate from college in December with a degree in computer science.

I’m reminded of the power of the adage: You save the world one child at a time.

Thank you, Microsoft.

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