KAHULUI – Akaku: Maui Community Media received a $12,000 grant for support of its Youth Broadband Education Awareness Mentoring (YBEAM) program from Hawaii Electric Industries (HEI) Foundation and Maui Electric Company (MECO).
“Maui Electric, as part of the HEI family, is deeply committed to supporting and strengthening the communities we live and work in,” says Sharon Suzuki, Maui Electric Company President. “We strongly support educational excellence, economic development and environmental stewardship in our communities and Akaku’s YBEAM program provides more opportunities for our Maui Nui students to gain hands-on experience in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).”
The YBEAM program was developed with a grant from ZeroDivide out of San Francisco via a federal BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunity Program) grant in 2011. YBEAM is further supported, in part, with grants and donations from the Atherton Family Foundation; the Fred Baldwin Foundation; MEDB: Ke Alahele Education Fund; Whole Foods Market Maui and the Maui Visitor Industry Charity Walk. “Having the support of MECO, one of our Countyʻs largest employers, reinforces our commitment to STEM education” says Akakū Education and YBEAM Director, Kat Tracy, “YBEAM is about technology, and technology is the use of tools and processes to solve problems. Iʻm thrilled they share our mission!”
YBEAM teaches youth how to produce short community video stories using broadband technology in an all mobile environment. Participants shoot, edit and distribute their content using Apple iPod Touches. Youth produced stories air on cable channel 55 and on www.mauitube.org besides being able to be shared on social networks. Other program outcomes include civic engagement, media literacy and certification that enables stipend job opportunities. YBEAM is free and is currently recruiting for summer. Applications are available at www.ybeam.mauitube.org.
For more information, call Kat Tracy at (808) 871-5554 or visit www.akaku.org.