Thirteen-year-old Rayshaun Trimble’s eyes widened when he walked into the Technology Center Saturday at the Community Coalition and surveyed a dozen gleaming new computers.
“My mom gave me a flyer about a new computer center that was opening in the neighborhood,” said Trimble, as he excitedly seated himself at one of the computers and swiftly logged on to his favorite video game, Rune Scape. “Now I’ll be able to walk here from school and do my homework. I’m going to tell all my friends about the new center,” said Trimble.
Trimble, a student at Brett Hart Middle School, was among 300 youths and adults who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the fully equipped multi-media room launched by Time Warner Cable.
Darnell Bomar, 18, logged onto the Internet and began to explore cyberspace. “When I walked in today, I was amazed,” said Bomar. “All the older model computers have been replaced,” said Bomar, whose brother works as a technician at the center.
There was clapping and excitement as Community Coalition founder and Majority State Leader Karen Bass, Councilman Bernard Parks, Assemblymember Mike Davis, Assemblymember Mark Ridley-Thomas, Community Coalition executive director Marquise Harris-Dawson and Time Warner Cable vice president of external affairs Deane Leavenworth cut the red ribbon unveiling the center.
In an effort to bridge the digital divide in South Los Angeles, Time Warner Cable has committed itself to establishing six more locations across Los Angeles by the end of the year. The media room is the second Time Warner Cable Technology Center to be launched in South Los Angeles, following the launch of a media room at the Hollenbeck Youth Center last year.
The effort to connect South Los Angeles to technology has reached a crucial need. Only 40 percent of African American and Latino households are connected to the Internet.
The fully-equipped multi-media room will also include video production capabilities with digital camcorders and digital and high-definition televisions, which will allow youth to use technology to document their experiences.
“The computers will all be connected to high speed data,” said Deane Leavenworth, vice president of external affairs for TWC’s metropolitan Los Angeles Division. “We have also installed plasma televisions and there will be 500 hours of commercial free programming.”
Community residents will also learn the intricacies of video production. “There will be Time Warner volunteers available to teach classes,” said Leavenworth.
“Time Warner made a significant investment in this project,” said Assemblymember Karen Bass, founder of the Community Coalition. “We will now have computer services in our community.”