Anthony Sanchez, a high school sophomore, always dreamed of producing music with his friends. Now, thanks to Best Buy and Sony, he’ll be able to make music and much more.
The Best Buy Teen Tech Center presented by Sony officially opened on Monday, May 15. It has all the technology Anthony needs to feed his creativity while paving the way for college and a career. The center, housed at the San Marcos Boys & Girls Club about 35 miles outside of San Diego, is equipped with new computers, cameras and, yes, a recording studio.
“It’s a really cool place to hang out,” Anthony said. “I’m excited to use the recording studio with my friends and have some fun.”
Volunteers from Best Buy and Sony will offer teens hands-on training and share career advice. The partnership between tech leaders and the community is more important than ever.
In the coming decade, nearly 80 percent of all jobs will require technology skills. Yet, wide disparities still exist among youth from lower-income families who lack access to technology. Since 2012, Best Buy has been working to close that opportunity gap through its Teen Tech Centers.
“We at Best Buy aspire to touch people’s lives with the help of technology,” said CEO Hubert Joly. “And so when we do this, in particular for teenagers who maybe don’t have access to technology, we feel we can make a big difference.”
Best Buy has 11 Teen Tech Centers across the country and will have a total of 20 by the end of 2017. The centers serve about 3,300 teens per year.
The path to success
Based on their interests, teens will learn how to code, produce music and edit videos while discovering the critical skills they will need for a better future. “If we can inspire creativity through the use of technology and better prepare our teens with the skills necessary to successfully enter the workforce, then we’re achieving our goal,” said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony.
So far, the promise of working with the latest tech is drawing big interest. The Boys & Girls Club has seen a 50 percent increase in attendance for teen members since the announcement of the Teen Tech Center.
“We expect to continue to grow because of the center. The kids are beyond excited and continue to tell me about all the things they are planning to do,” said Tish Murry, CEO and president of the San Marcos Boys and Girls Club.
With so much interest, Anthony is going to have to share the recording studio. His sister and fellow club member Ashley Sanchez also wants to explore music, photography and design, which is already leading to big dreams.
“I feel like if we learn how to use all the technology, we will have an advantage over others because we will learn skills that we can apply in the real world,” she said.