About the Project
YTF is an international nonprofit organization founded in 2000 to increase access to technology and education. Its innovative use of technology increases equity for women, girls, and youth in developing countries. YTF believes that access to technology and education should be a basic human right, and used to educate, fight poverty, solve critical problems, stimulate entrepreneurship, and create a generation of change leaders. YTF Academy’s underlying conviction is that not knowing the language of computers will be as challenging as being illiterate or innumerate today.
YTF’s work is planned and implemented in strong collaboration with grassroots, local, state, and national entities. YTF conducts outreach to and recruits marginalized, poor, hard-to-reach, in-school and out-of-school youth, and youth at risk for low-wage employment, vulnerable employment, and under-employment in Nigeria, Kenya, Cameroon, Uganda, Colombia, and the United States.
For 16 years, award-winning YTF has:
*graduated over 315,000 YTF Academy participants with 55% choosing technology-related fields
*increased STEM careers by 75%
*seen well over 90% make a successful transition to secondary school; 96% go on to higher education
*increased school academics by 40%
*inspired and developed over 12,000 entrepreneurial businesses (75% women-owned)
*trained over 1.6 million youth and women
*increased economic capacity in 3,880 communities
*a high job placement rate with students securing employment paying, on average, three times more in salaries
*100% of teachers trained promote technology as a communication and educational tool in their classrooms
YTF Academy has been replicated successfully throughout the world. YTF’s model of excellence includes 1) aligning innovative technology with needs facing youth, girls, and women, 2) integrating education, employability, and entrepreneurship with human-centered innovation design pedagogy, 3) use of the scientific inquiry or engineering design process with real-world scenarios, 4) use of mentors, virtual job shadowing and observation of engineers in action, expert speakers, 5) community level buy-in, awareness raising, effective capacity building strategies, collaboration, 6) sustaining local participation, 7) bringing corporate and philanthropic partners and volunteers resources to strengthen programs, 8) ongoing monitoring and evaluation activities for quality control, improvement, effectiveness, impact, 9) a focus on STEM education and employment.