A self-professed tech geek, I’m routinely amazed at the power I hold in my hands: smartphones, tablets, laptops, the latest new gadget. A shocking statistic from the United Nations made headlines last year: more people now have access to cell phones than to toilets. Increasingly, our world is run by technology and the people who know how to wield it.
That’s why Jolkona’s Give to Girls project to support homeless women by teaching technology and life skills resonates with me. Housing and homelessness — especially in the Seattle area — are pressing issues, as rent and property values rise higher than low-skills workers can afford. In my experience, there is no single narrative for homeless women and no negative stereotype that holds true. There are many paths to homelessness: foreclosure, domestic abuse, layoffs, medical expenses. However these women got there, their energy and time is now focused on day-to-day survival.
But what if you could help put the power back in the hands of women who are experiencing homelessness? What if you could take the focus away from short-term survival and give women the ability to build marketable skills, allowing them to look to their futures?
I support women’s projects like this because I believe in empowering women to dream, plan, and achieve. I believe that women with technology can change the world. Technology is the foundation of many careers and jobs. It is access to information and resources. It is having a platform to voice one’s opinion and engage with other people. Technology is power.
I invite you to join me in supporting the Jubilee Women’s Center, or one of the other partners in Jolkona’s Give to Girls campaign this month.
Genevieve Venable works in communications and community outreach for Seattle University’s Center for Service and Community Engagement. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree.