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Geek Squad Academy kicks off 11th season of summer camps for teens

Summer’s right around the corner, and Geek Squad Academy (GSA) is kicking off its most exciting season yet.

The tech-education program is marking its 11th year by holding 40 camps nationwide (a 30 percent increase over last year). That means more than 8,500 teens will learn how to use essential tech tools — and have fun doing so.

GSA has served more than 26,000 teens since it began through free, two-day camps led by Geek Squad Agents and community partners. This season’s first camp begins Thursday in South Boston.

Agent Brandi Jorgensen, who has traveled nationwide for more than five years helping run camps, has a personal connection to GSA and has seen its impact firsthand.

“I had a good upbringing, but not a lot of access to opportunities,” she said. “It’s very rewarding to give back some of what I’ve learned about technology to teens who’ve never seen it before, or never would’ve been able to learn about it otherwise.”

GSA camps feature unique, hands-on classes that connect teens with tech trends like 3-D design, digital music production, HTML coding and more. The goal is to help inspire teens to pursue careers and further their education around technology.

“With some of what we teach, like HTML coding, kids are intimidated at first,” Brandi said. “But, through our program, we don’t make it scary. We make it fun. And then before you know it, they’re showing off the new website they made.”

New this year, a BB-8 Robot class helps teens work together to learn to program a robot to complete challenges and solve puzzles. A new pixel art class teaches teens to create original pixel art and animation, beginning with the design of a character.

“The BB-8 class is going to be really cool because the teens will recognize the iconic robot,” Brandi said. “They will also love seeing instant results by programming the robots and putting them to work.”

GSA camps held across U.S.

Now through September, 40 camps will be held in the following 39 cities:

  • Beaverton, Oregon
  • Bellevue, Washington
  • Bessemer, Alabama
  • Bronx, New York
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Chicago
  • Cleveland
  • Denver
  • Desoto, Texas
  • Eden Prairie, Minnesota
  • Hartford, Connecticut
  • Henderson, Nevada
  • Houston
  • Jackson, Missouri
  • Jersey City, New Jersey
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Liverpool, New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Milwaukee
  • Minneapolis
  • New Orleans
  • Newark, Delaware
  • Oakland, California
  • Oceanside, California
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Sacramento, California
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Antonio
  • San Marcos, California
  • South Boston, Massachusetts
  • Stockton, Georgia
  • Paul, Minnesota
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Wake Forest, North Carolina
  • Washington, D.C.

For more information on Geek Squad Academy 2017 dates, locations, enrollment information and more, visit https://academy.geeksquad.com.

Best Buy supports programs that use technology to inspire and engage underserved teens to help them prepare for college and careers. This commitment is found in programs such as Geek Squad Academy and 11 Best Buy Teen Tech Centers.

For more information on Best Buy’s community programs, partnerships and tech education initiatives, visit https://corporate.bestbuy.com/community-relations-overview/ and follow us on Twitter @BestBuyCSR.