Diversity & Inclusion
Business development / Education / Entrepreneurs / Funding / Nonprofits

Verizon awarded Byte Back with a $100K grant

Also this week, Elizabeth Lindsey was officially named the nonprofit's CEO and won the Outstanding Women in STEM Award from FIRST Chesapeake.

A cohort of Byte Back students at graduation in January 2020. (Courtesy photo)

NoMa-based tech-inclusion nonprofit Byte Back has been awarded with a $100,000 grant from telecomms giant Verizon.

Mario Acosta-Velez, director of state government affairs at Verizon, announced the grant award on Wednesday during Byte Back’s biannual graduation celebration.

Launched in 1997, Byte Back hosts free tech training classes in D.C. and Baltimore. The grant will fund the nonprofit’s tech career courses in D.C., from Computer Foundations up to CompTIA A+ and Microsoft certifications, Yvette Scorse, Byte Back communications director, told Technical.ly.

Also this week, Elizabeth Lindsey was officially named Byte Back CEO, after formerly holding the title of executive director of the tech inclusion nonprofit. Scorse said this decision “reflects the growing national status of Byte Back and her leadership of the nonprofit,” which includes leading the nonprofit’s expansion into Baltimore last year.

“Verizon is helping Byte Back prepare adults for careers in our changing economy,” Lindsey said in a statement. “With a pathway of free tech training, our graduates are gaining skills, getting certified, and entering living-wage careers that use technology.”

The nonprofit reported that in 2018, 50 of its graduates landed jobs earning $27,599 more per year than before they went through Byte Back training. Scorse said that the nonprofit plans to triple its impact in Baltimore this year — where it currently serves more than 60 technologists — as well as expand to more cities in the future.

“By connecting under-resourced communities to tech training and developmental opportunities, Byte Back participants are positioned to obtain meaningful jobs and improve their financial lives and those of generations to come,” said Tony Lewis, region VP of state government affairs at Verizon.

To add to the nonprofit’s success this week, Lindsey won the the 2020 Reaching for the Stars: Outstanding Women in STEM Award from FIRST Chesapeake, a DMV-based nonprofit bringing STEM programs to local high schools. Scorse shared that Lindsey is the second recipient of this award, following Doris Blanchard, one of NASA’s first “human computers.”

Companies: Byte Back / Verizon

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