CompTIA’s Canadian IT Business member community supports charities serving youths

Inspiring Success - A blog from Creating IT Futures

CompTIA’s Canadian IT Business member community supports charities serving youths

Oct 05, 2017
future possibilities for kids

Members of the CompTIA member community, Canadian IT Business, have chosen to give $5,000 each to the nonprofit organizations, Kids Help Phone and Future Possibilities for Kids.

The contributions are part CompTIA Giving, an effort on the part of CompTIA’s member communities and councils to support their local communities and improve education and career options for individuals in need. This year, CompTIA’s member communities and councils donated $170,000 to worthwhile nonprofits. 

“Giving back to the community is a key priority of the Canadian IT Business Community. Our members felt that investing in youth was where our community donations would be best spent. Over the summer, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the kids that were helped by these two excellent charities. Their stories and experiences reinforce the value of our donation to making a difference in our community,” said Doug Brown, founder and principal, Douglas Business Consulting, and chair, Canadian IT Business Community.

Future Possibilities for Kids works to inspire and empower children ages 9 to 12 years old from diverse, under-served Canadian communities to become leaders and practice possibility thinking. Since the nonprofit was launched in 2001, Future Possibilities has supported more than 3,000 children and adults through community leadership and life-skills development programs. 

“The best world is one where all children have the chance to take active roles in their communities. With CompTIA’s support, we will ensure children from underserved communities are able to sharpen their innovation and entrepreneurial skills while implementing community service projects to enhance the world around them,” said Rickesh Lakhani, executive director, Future Possibilities for Kids. “Many of these projects created by our kids relate to technology, such as a campaign promoting cyber safety for children, using online petitions to rally support for a new playground in their community, or creating YouTube videos to promote ways to save the environment. The generosity of the CompTIA community means that a space is there for children to learn, grow and expand their horizons.”  

Lakhani said that his organization recently conducted a survey and found that before children became involved with Future Possibilities for Kids, 40 percent did not participate in any extracurricular activity. Currently, Future Possibilities is serving 500 children annually.

Kids Help Phone leverages technology to communicate with teens in relevant ways, said Susan Hallsworth, AVP of partnership development and donor relations for the nonprofit. 

Founded in 1989, Kids Help Phone provides free, anonymous and bilingual counseling by phone. And now the organization also hosts counseling sessions via live chat and its Always There chat app. These communication tools have proven by far to be Kids Help Phone’s most in-demand service — delivering longer counseling sessions, and hosting more contacts young people in crisis, including those experiencing violence or suicidal thoughts.

Kids Help Phone recently piloted a counseling service via texting to help young people living in remote communities — or those without reliable Internet connection—to reach support when they need it.   

Beyond counseling, Kids Help Phone supports Canada’s young people through online resources — directing youth to helpful local resources and providing games, tools and information on a multitude of subjects, all on a new, mobile-friendly website.   

In 2016, Kids Help Phone provided 62,343 counseling sessions, and reached an average of 360 youths per day. More than a third of those counseling sessions were provided via chat.

“We are thrilled to have been chosen for the third year in a row by CompTIA’s Canadian IT Business member community to receive a $5,000 grant,” Hallsworth said. “With CompTIA’s support, we are improving access to our services across all channels so that every young person in every corner of Canada will have access to the support they need, in the way they need it, building resilience for life.”

The mission of CompTIA’s Canadian IT Business community is to further the interests of Canadian tech companies serving small- to medium-sized businesses, and those of companies providing tech services and support to Canadian businesses. Members include resellers, solution providers, distributors, vendors and channel associates serving the IT small-to-medium channel and the IT services and support industry in Canada. Click here to learn more.

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A 501(c)(3) charity was established in 1998 by CompTIA, the Information Technology Industry Trade Association, as a way to help people improve their lives through IT careers.

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