Best Buy Volunteers Teach Teens to Build Smartphone Apps and More

Creating a customized smartphone app is not something every kid can say they’ve done.

But with the help of dedicated Best Buy employee volunteers, students are getting excited about creating their own apps using the invention kit MakeyMakey.

The app workshops are part of Best Buy-sponsored events happening nationwide this year. Teens get the chance to brainstorm an app prototype, work with the latest technology and create a stop-motion video.

Best Buy’s Community Relations team has partnered with the nonprofit Break A Difference to design several large volunteer events for employees throughout the United States. Best Buy will host large volunteer events in more than 30 U.S. cities this year.

Most of the events will take place around nationally recognized times of service, including National Day of Service Sept. 11, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Jan. 18, 2016.

This month, employees in New Orleans; New York City; Tampa, Florida; Richmond, Virginia; Hartford, Connecticut, and Seattle, will get the chance to lend a hand at local nonprofits.

Nicole Rittmer, general manager of the Everett store in Massachusetts, said the opportunity to give back to the community and work with kids is the best part of her job.

“Getting to invest in these kids — our future Geek Squad Agents, our future leaders, and our future customers — is such an incredible experience,” she said.

It’s all part of Best Buy’s ongoing efforts to provide teens with opportunities where they can develop tech skills that will inspire future education and career choices. Other programs include:

  • Best Buy Teen Tech Centers – We provide teens a safe place to explore, collaborate and play with technology to develop skills for future success.
  • Geek Squad Academy – We run hands-on, interactive camps across the country that help kids ages 10 to 18 understand the inner workings of technology.
  • FIRST – We partner with this nonprofit and help inspire youth to build projects like robotics.
  • GRAMMY Foundation – Working alongside the foundation, we teach teens musical production and help to maintain music as part of schools’ primary curriculum.