Recently, the MSI PR team has had the opportunity to help spread the word about an incredible new partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Comcast NBCUniversal that harnesses the power of technology and the Internet to expand digital literacy and help conquer the digital divide.
The five-year national partnership, which is valued at tens of millions of dollars in cash and in-kind support, includes the launch of My.Future, a new technology initiative designed to teach Club members about the digital world and ignite their passion for technology. Available to the nearly four million youth served by more than 4,100 Boys & Girls Clubs, My.Future allows Club members to select from 40+ activities that reinforce digital literacy, including areas of exploring the web, communicating with others digitally and building media. Additional experiences allow members to explore advanced topics, such as robotics, coding and game design.
To kick-off the launch of the program, events were held in major cities throughout the US including Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC. In each of these markets, Comcast NBCUniversal renovated local Boys & Girls Clubs with state-of-the-art technology that reflects today’s mobile environment, including computers, tablets, smartboards, digital cameras, music studio tools and video-editing technology. In addition to providing this new technology to each of these Clubs, the Comcast Foundation also provided on-site renovations, including new paint, furniture and structural repairs. Adding to the excitement, Jordin Sparks attended the Philadelphia event to help celebrate the launch and introduce local members to their newly renovated Club!
The most recent coverage we secured to spotlight the new initiative ran today in this Digital Content Next article. We’re looking forward to continuing to raise awareness about the availability of this great program to youth across the country!
For a good laugh, my favorite singer, P!nk on the Ellen show (10/13/14)
McSweeney’s is a mostly comic, sometimes serious and always entertaining literary journal.
WARNING: Once you’ve entered, you may find yourself clicking through stories for the rest of day, so get a drink and a sandwich and enjoy.
Start here…just great writing and good, clean fun…
It turns out that the brain generates about 20 watts of electricity, and creates radio waves almost like a radio transmitter. These waves can be captured and used to create physical happenings.
The process is called Telekinesis, and may explain why some people might be more psychic than others. But in our secular world, scientists are using the brain waves to allow a person who is paralyzed, or similarly disabled, to work a computer, or a person with an artificial arm to direct the arm through thought alone, another person to guide a wheel chair and so forth.
The process works like this in a nutshell: A chip, the size of a baby aspirin is embedded on the head of the subject, who is then asked to think the thought of typing the letter “a.” That brain wave created by the thought is captured in the program’s software. When fully functioning, the person thinks the thought of creating the letter “a,” and the software indeed types out the letter “a.”
Eventually this system might lead to “telepathy helmets,” as they are being called, to allow us to read other people’s minds. It could take a lot of the mystery out of dating.
NOTE: One of MSI’s clients, NinjaFlex, actually provided the 3D printer filament that created a special helmet that helped a paralyzed person walk onto the field and kick the ceremonial ball at the opening ceremonies of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The kicker drove the movement with his mind, and the bionic exoskeleton did the rest. So it’s real.
The MSI PR team has been helping to spread the word about five incredible teenagers who have been nominated for the Maytag Dependable Leader Awards. As part of a partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and the Maytag brand, the Dependable Leader Awards recognize Boys & Girls Club members who are committed to making a difference as dependable and exceptional role models.
Through Friday, September 19th, people can learn more about each of the five teens who are in the running for the award and vote for the finalist of their choice at www.dependableleaders.com.
The winner will receive a $50,000 grant, of which, $20,000 will go to them in the form of a scholarship; and the remaining $30,000 will help his/her Club provide educational assistance for Club members and/or staff.
Here’s a quick look at the five finalists and some of the media coverage we’ve secured about their amazing stories:
- Brian Juarez, Age 17, Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club, Los Angeles, Calif. — As part of the Boys & Girls Club’s national Teen Suicide Awareness Project, Brian shared his battle with depression in his Club’s Public Service Announcement, “Start the Story”. A bit of a shy guy, Brian’s come out of his shell since joining the Club three years ago. When the Club’s purse strings got tight, Brian stepped up and offered to help the new Executive Director, Chantez Pratts, as her volunteer Executive Assistant – one of the most important roles at the Club.
- Rebekah Koen, Age 18, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama, Birmingham, Ala. — Rebekah is a volunteer Counselor in Training at her Club. Despite her own struggles with homelessness, Rebekah saw pre-teen girls struggling with their image and self-confidence so she created “Girl Talk,” a program designed to give girls ages 11-14 a forum to share their feelings and get support from their peers. She also serves as a member of the Keystone Club, a group of teenagers who serve their community by working to make their community a cleaner, safer and a better place to live. Rebekah in the News:
- The Birmingham News shared this spotlight on Rebekah’s contributions to the community on Friday, 9/12.
- The North Jefferson News ran an article about Rebekah’s nomination on Monday, 9/8.
- The Birmingham Times ran this piece on her story on Thursday, 9/11.
- Billy Narvaez, Age 17, Wakeman Boys & Girls Club, Bridgeport, Conn. — Gifted in math and science, Billy developed the Future Engineers Club to give members fun, hands-on activities that just might spark their interest in engineering and physics so that they, like him, will strive for bigger things beyond what they see in Bridgeport. Billy not only runs the Saturday Film School and Future Engineers Club, but he funds these programs out of his own pocket, illustrating to younger members another way of giving back to the community. Billy in the News:
- News 12 Connecticut aired these two segments about Billy’s story a total of 44 times
- News 12 Connecticut segment 1
- News 12 Connecticut segment 2
- Numerous online outlets have also covered Billy’s story, such as:
- The Bridgeport News
- Only in Bridgeport
- Education Bridgeport
- Norwalk’s Hamlethub
- Ruby Smith, Age 16, Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Ind. — Ruby wrote and received a grant to create and implement a literacy program called “Look In a Book” in which teen members teach literacy skills to members aged 5- 10. Teens read aloud to small or whole groups of young members, helping them begin their literacy development by building vocabulary and comprehension skills. The goal of the program was to help them pass the English Language Arts portion of the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress. All 2013 participating members passed the exam and progressed to the next grade level. Ruby in the News:
- Ruby’s segment on the local ABC affiliate (WRTV-TV) aired a total of four times – twice on Tuesday, 9/9 as part of the Evening News and twice on Wednesday, 9/10 as part of the Morning News
- Her nomination was also covered on the Indianapolis NBC affiliate (WTHR-TV).
- On 9/8, the CBS affiliate (WISH-TV) posted an article about Ruby’s nomination with details about her contributions and voting instructions, and then on 9/17, WISH-TV aired an interview segment of Ruby three times throughout the duration of its “Daybreak” morning show as well as posted an accompanying article online.
- The Indianapolis Star ran an article on her nomination.
- Jhacori Stacy, Age 16, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley, Columbus, Ga. – Jhacori is the creator of the project, “Food, Food, Everywhere but not a drop to Eat,” which shed light on the struggles of families/individuals that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The project introduced SODEXO employees at Total System to families/individuals who live in public housing and formed a relationship that has lasted for two years and counting. Every Friday since April 2012, 50-60 families/individuals have been coming to Jhacori’s house to receive meals. Jhacori in the News:
- His story was featured in a segment on WRBL-TV on 9/16.
- An article about Jhacori’s story ran in the 9/6 print issue of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. The story also ran online and can be viewed here.
- On Tuesday, 9/9, Jhacori appeared on The Dee Armstrong Show on Columbus’s NBC affiliate.
- On Wednesday, 9/10, Jhacori went in-studio with Columbus radio station Truth 88.5 (WBOJ-FM) for an on-air interview.
We’re excited to help share these incredible stories and can’t wait to see who is selected as the winner of the $50,000 prize!
The MSI PR team is excited to share this CNBC “Power Lunch” segment featuring our Aegis Mobility client! The episode, which aired on August 11, highlighted new technology that combats distracted driving.
Olen Vanderleeden of Aegis Mobility demonstrated how the company’s TeenSafer software solution puts the phone into safe mode when the GPS on the device detects that it’s in a driving state. In safe mode, access to the device is blocked by a curtain screen and all calls, texts and other notifications are suppressed.
Since we all know that distracted driving is a serious issue for teens and all drivers on the road today, we’re excited about the opportunity to help spread the word about ways to prevent texting and driving – and the tragedies that result from this dangerous habit!
You can check out the segment here: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000301247
Boom! Here comes a real #Gamechanger! The ad world has always been full of game changers. These guys are even called the GameChangers… Hey, what if I’m hungry for a Game Changer? Wanna change the game? Have some peanut butter.
(#actuallypeanutbutterisnotagamechanger). Paint your house. Grab a trash bag. Chug a Game Changer! Wanna really change the game? Target those zits! There is no one that I expect to change the game more than Josh Groban! Here’s some spare game change… Ok, here’s some truly “Game Changing Development”. And when you least expect it… BOOM! Here comes the real Game Changer! Toyota, Dick’s, East Greenbush Pro-Casino lobbys? There are no unchanged games left to play.
In a recent article by Adweek, a new “Don’t text and drive” campaign from Ogilvy Beijing, Volkswagen was tested out on individuals in a local movie theater. The audience was drawn in by watching someone enter their car, turn up the radio, and begin driving down a long road.
The video was filmed in the driver’s perspective, making it look as if you were behind the wheel. While everyone was watching, someone behind the scenes sent a mass text message simultaneously to everyone in the audience. At which point, everyone’s phones began to ring and light up with a new text message, and as the audience went to reach for their phones, the car in the video crashed into a tree.
This campaign was meant to create a real life scenario, placing the audience in the perspective of the driver, and show how it only takes a second of being distracted to end up in an accident.
“Don’t text and drive” campaigns are everywhere, but what does it take to really grab someone’s attention and make them believe the dangers in distracted driving? Are campaigns with more “shock value” the true way to get people to listen?
What are your thoughts?
Last week we celebrated another great event with our Boys & Girls Club + UPS clients! The second of numerous events planned for this year was held in Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday, 5/30. The event introduced the UPS Road Code teen safe driving program to the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester, one of the three new Clubs now offering the program.
We welcomed 280 very excited teens, 13 UPS volunteers and local media to event. In celebration of the newly launched program, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas decreed May 30, 2014 as “UPS Road Code Teen Safe Driving Day” in an official mayoral proclamation.
The two-hour event was comprised of three different stations—an obstacle course mimicking a teen’s morning routine and reinforcing the importance of putting distractions away before hitting the road, driving simulators for teens to test their behind-the-wheel skills/knowledge and an interactive station where teens could play a driving-themed charades game, take the Road Code Report Card quiz and sign a pledge saying no to distracted driving.
Attendees had a great time interacting with all event elements – racing each other in the obstacle course, acting out driving-related terms, comparing scores on the quiz and testing out the simulators with tips and guidance from UPS representatives. Here’s a look at some of the local media coverage generated:
- MPTS-TV, Manchester Public Television Service, Inc.
UPS Road Code Event on MPTS-TV, Manchester Public Television Service, Inc. from Marketing Support, Inc. on Vimeo.
We’re already looking forward to our next events later this year!