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Young women pursue dreams with help from Teen Tech Centers

Many teens have big dreams, and Best Buy Teen Tech Centers are helping make them a reality.

That’s especially important for girls in disinvested communities, who often lack access to STEM education. The Teen Tech Centers are helping provide them with opportunities to explore technology and discover what’s possible.

We featured three young women from our Teen Tech Centers as part of our new animated YouTube series called “Dream Huge.” The teens were paired with professional animators and storytellers to bring their stories to life. The 60-second videos were animated by different artists with styles that were selected to align with each teen’s individual interests.

Here’s a quick look at the three young women who were featured.

Karen Nevarez, 17

Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Family Service Association of San Antonio

Karen remembers how it felt the first time she painted with watercolors. She loves to paint scenery, and now, through the Best Buy Teen Tech Center, she’s learned how to create art digitally.

In fact, she has developed many interests. She loves journalism, drawing and robotics, and she wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up.

“I love to learn anything that I can,” she said. “It makes me proud.”

Olivia Pierce, 18

Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Hope Community in Minneapolis

Olivia is using her voice as a musician to create change. She’s motivated by her two younger sisters (ages 9 and 15) and hopes to pass on the importance of knowing your self-worth.

“No matter what anybody else says, you can honestly do anything if you put your mind to it,” she said.

And that includes using your voice for activism.

“I just want everybody to know that if you want to write a song, write a song. If you want to start speaking up for activism and civil rights, then start speaking up,” she said.

Olivia’s music is already driving national conversations and was recently featured on The View.

Weslyn Harmon, 18

Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Hope Community in Minneapolis

Weslyn wants to become a criminal lawyer, but social activism is what drives all her dreams. She was animated riding a horse in her video because that’s a strong symbol for reclaiming power within the Black community.

Social justice hit close to home for Weslyn last spring, when George Floyd was killed in her own city just days before her high school graduation. She immediately planned a peaceful sit-in at the Minnesota state Capitol with the intent to provide a space for Black youth to be heard.

Weslyn developed her passion for activism while attending the Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Hope Community in Minneapolis. In addition to providing access to technology and opportunities to apply her skills in graphic design, she developed connections at the center that helped her better understand her own identity.

“I think it’s really about putting yourself out there and showing people what you have, especially as a Black youth, because we don’t really get that opportunity that often to showcase our talents,” she said.

Best Buy Teen Tech Centers are interactive learning spaces that help teens explore technology to discover new interests, collaborate with one another and prepare for the future. Learn more about Teen Tech Centers here.