This summer, PhillyRising has seen the tangible, positive outcomes of collaborative efforts. We recently wrote about the gun buy-back which helped take 417 guns off the street. Today, we’d like to highlight the effort that brought a much needed computer lab to Northwest Philadelphia’s Allegheny West section.
The effort began with Berean Baptist Church’s Pastor James Buck who hoped to open a computer lab in Berean’s Lydia M. Edwards Community Center, named for the church’s oldest member. Pastor Buck wanted to give community members better access to the Internet. The area’s Library Branch offered computer access to members but with usage limits. While the church had a few computers, it didn’t have enough to properly serve the community. The church needed a partnership.
This led Pastor Buck to speak with PhillyRising’s Northwest Division Coordinator Jim Sanders. Connecting with PhillyRising’s corporate partners, Sanders got in touch with Pierce College’s Jessica Quilter who helped the college donate 9 computers to the lab. Thanks to a previous donation from LaSalle University, the lab had 15 computers and was ready to open.
The computer lab Berean’s Lydia M. Edwards Community Center would be open Monday-Friday from 1:00pm-5:00pm and would invite any member of the community to enjoy the Internet access.
“The lab serves a greater need by being available to the community,” Sanders said. “One of the greater things that came out of the partnership is it’s not just computers, but the additional learning that’s desperately needed.”
In a city where nearly half the population does not have access to the Internet in their homes, a computer lab is a much need resource to the community. This resource would not be available if not for the willingness of organizations—big and small—to collaborate, partner-up and keep Philadelphia rising.