Education Based Latino Outreach (EBLO) has officially opened its new computer lab, known as the Verizon Digital Village. Now, immigrants in Fells Point have a place nestled in their community to hone their computer skills, do online job searches and research class assignments – all free of charge.
Joining the ribbon-cutting ceremony, held on Aug. 28, were Maryland State Sen. William Ferguson (District 46), Baltimore City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young and Baltimore City Councilman Jim Kraft (District 2), along with community leaders, parents and students.
The computer lab – located in the Jose Ruiz Community Center at 606 South Ann St. in Baltimore – has 21 PCs and was made possible with a $22,000 Verizon Foundation grant. EBLO also received $4,500 from Verizon to support the organization’s literacy program. According to EBLO officials, they already are seeing how the new lab is opening doors for many area residents and bridging the generational gap as several youth are teaching senior citizens how to use the technology.
"With the closest computer labs nearly two miles away, our Verizon Digital Village will address unmet needs and help us continue our commitment to the community in the spirit of our former leader, Jose Ruiz. We couldn't have done this without the help of our friends at Verizon."
"We want EBLO to be a true community resource that is open to everyone," said EBLO Executive Director Miguel C. Vicente. "With the closest computer labs nearly two miles away, our Verizon Digital Village will address unmet needs and help us continue our commitment to the community in the spirit of our former leader, Jose Ruiz. We couldn't have done this without the help of our friends at Verizon."
Representing Verizon at the ceremony were Tabb Bishop and Tony Randall. They stressed how EBLO has been a great partner over the years and how the investment in technology will better prepare the young and old alike for the future.
EBLO was formed in 1980 to improve the lives of Hispanic youths and their families through educational opportunities and cultural programs. It offers English as a Second Language courses for adults, Saturday Spanish School for kindergarten through eighth-grade students and bilingual beginners’ computer classes for people of all ages.
In 2010, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley named EBLO the Hispanic Heritage Nonprofit of the Year.