SNIPES is ready to “Crack the Code,” and tons of more people will have access to digital resources and education.

A part of a new initiative to help close the digital divide, Crack the Code is a nationwide initiative that will promote digital equity and build the next generation of STEM leaders. The new campaign will include state-of-the-art computer labs in targeted markets throughout the United States, where SNIPES has a retail presence.

The Nuts And Bolts

The national sneaker and streetwear retailer launched its first computer lab in Brooklyn’s Wyckoff Gardens housing complex.

In an exclusive with AfroTech, a representative from SNIPES, noted that the company is “community-driven and wants to protect that relationship through genuine and realistic outreach initiatives.” The holistic plan is to provide an outlet to help build STEM leaders of the future while trying to stay in touch with the grassroots of the areas they serve.

Aimed to provide training for students in K-12, Crack the Code labs will include iPads, smartboards, laptop and desktop computers, and printers. SNIPES believes that the community computer labs will also serve as a community hub, filling the connectivity void left open by the COVID-19 pandemic and providing access to residents who don’t have reliable at-home internet access or devices.

Courtesy of SNIPES

A Place For Community

While the program initiative is for school-aged children, it will also support adults and families that don’t have access to the technology necessary for academic and vocational success.

“We expect the program not only to provide an immediate and free outlet for youth wanting to learn more in that field but also to provide support and hope for them to know that people are watching, willing, and ready to serve and guide them on successful paths,” a SNIPES representative explained. “We are bringing awareness to these communities differently from the norm. One that’s open to them without stipulations and provides safe space. It’s more than just a computer lab.”

Dealing With The Facts

According to Pew Research, about four-in-ten adults with lower incomes do not have home broadband services (43 percent) or a desktop or laptop computer (41 percent). In a world that is growing increasingly dependent on technology – SNIPES is amplifying the need to provide resources to alleviate the digital divide and promote digital equity.

“At SNIPES, we understand that today’s youth are tomorrow’s scientists, engineers, researchers, and technology leaders,” said Jim Bojko, President of SNIPES’ US operations. “The services these new computer labs will offer to marginalized members of our communities will assist toward closing the technology gap. They will give residents access to skills and information vital in helping young people prepare for their careers.”

In It For The Long Haul

The first lab in Wyckoff Gardens has already drawn the attention of youth and adults from the community, providing equitable access to technology and a haven for them to learn vital computer skills. SNIPES hopes to continue this trend as the campaign evolves.

“We’re invested in seeing the continuous growth of students. The expectation is that K-12 students, college students, and adult learners will be able to easily access the basic computer courses and continuing education courses that will be held in the labs. A SNIPES representative explained that SNIPES would continue to work with civic partners and community leaders to find solutions to enhance the effort and identify additional opportunities for support, learning, and educational growth within these communities,” a SNIPES representative explained.