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August 2004
Microsoft Philippines has opened its first site of the Unlimited Potential Program, an outreach effort to increase worldwide computer literacy and reduce the global digital divide in technology skills. Located at the Don Bosco Manpower Skills and Training Center in Mabalacat, Unlimited Potential plans to reach out to 250 Amerasian youths in Clark this year.

Unlimited Potential is a global initiative focused on providing technology skills for underserved individuals. Recipients of UP grants are public centers where people can gain IT skills and training to help themselves and their communities.

Locally, Unlimited Potential provides technology training to Amerasian youth who are displaced, out-of-school, and victims of discrimination, particularly since the removal of U.S. bases in the country. Unlimited Potential seeks to give these youth better employment opportunities.

Dubbed "Pag-Asa," the local initiative is implemented in cooperation with Learn.ph. The second site is located at the People's Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance Foundation Center near Subic Freeport Zone. The Unlimited Potential grant provides the centers in Clark and Subic with Microsoft software, computers, Internet connection, and training modules.

Through "Pag-Asa," approximately 800 Amerasians will receive basic computer literacy training, while 30 will go on for more comprehensive training and certification.

Fr. Jomar Legaspi, Director of Learn.Ph said, "The undeserved individuals from this community deserve equal access to technology paramount to quality education and ultimately help them realize their goals and aspirations and be part of the country's success as we as one nation strive to become a key player in the global information technology market.
"While technology skills are very important for today's workforce, millions of people around the world still face the challenge of how and where to obtain these skills," said Antonio "TJ" Javier, Managing Director of Microsoft Philippines. "Unlimited Potential will help the disadvantaged yet equally deserving Amerasians to realize their potential and successfully compete in today's marketplace."

Microsoft has made a five-year, $1 billion commitment to Unlimited Potential and other programs to bridge the digital divide. Nearly $50 million in cash and software has been distributed since the program was initiated in May 2003. The recipients of this program span more than 45 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North America.

UP grants provide community technology learning centers with funding to launch or sustain IT skills training programs, including hiring and training technology instructors, expanding course offerings, and reaching a broader base of underserved community members. Microsoft has developed UP curriculum that emphasizes real-world technology applications and will initially be available in English, French, Spanish and German. In the near future, Microsoft will work with partners to launch a global support network to deliver technology research, tools and services to training centers worldwide.

A complete list of Unlimited Potential grant recipients can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/ citizenship/overview/uprecipients.aspx.
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