Giving At-Risk Youth the Gift of Technology
NN4Y Salutes Techie Youth’s Eric David Benari & Tanuja Prasad
In the heart of NYC sits a groundbreaking organization with one vision in mind — giving at-risk youth the gift of self-sufficiency through technology education. Eric David Benari founded Techie Youth with the goal of providing completely free computer training to the most forgotten youth in our society.
Understanding that a high percentage of homeless youth were once in foster care, Techie Youth aims to stem that trend through education. The organization focuses on foster youth ages 18-21 who are approaching the age of emancipation and have come from abusive and neglectful backgrounds. Techie Youth hopes to stave off the sentence of homelessness that many of these youth face through their technology training model.
Photo credit: Techie Youth
Eric David Benari is president and Tanuja Prasad serves as the director of the organization.
Under their leadership, Techie Youth offers interactive, hands-on and engaging curriculum in their high-tech classrooms. Additionally, the curriculum is designed to give to help youth gain the knowledge and skills that will garner them pathways to employment and personal growth. They deliver this curriculum with a team of trainers who additionally give these young techies individual attention.
Moreover, Techie Youth pushes their innovative goals forward through strategic collaborations. In August 2017 they partnered with the City’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Through this particular collaboration, they provided a free 6-week computer-technology training program to help disadvantaged youth get a foothold on starting their careers.
“All [our board members] have contributed and all have been necessary to our work.”
– Tanuja Prasad
We congratulate Eric, Tanuja, their board of directors on their outstanding work in providing solutions for the nation’s young people at-risk of and experiencing homelessness.
November 2017 – National Network for Youth
Eric David Benari, Founder & President of Techie Youth, is an IT business expert and master-technologist who has founded and/or built the infrastructure for a large portfolio of ventures, spanning sectors of social networks, e-commerce, B2B, open-source, online advertising (while in a senior-role at Yahoo!) and others.
He has been invited to speak at numerous conferences and universities, including NYU and MIT, and is a published writer for Forbes.com, MIT CIO Corner & other journals.
Eric is also organizer of the world’s largest community of database-technology professionals and chairman/coordinator of the biannual Database Month festival in New York City.
Tanuja Prasad, Director of Techie Youth, has 20+ years experience in information technology and financial services technology management. She also brings a keen interest and experience in social impact enterprises. She has had roles as CTO of a nonprofit providing after-school services, and, as CTO/co-founder of a nonprofit that sought to create a marketplace for finding and funding grants. She is currently involved in applying technology solutions to the challenge of social impact measurement.
As an Electrical Engineer herself, Tanuja has a special focus on women in the STEM disciplines. She has coached young women in technology, appeared as judge for various competitions and mentored projects for the Technovation Challenge.
She sees education as a necessary tool for a sustainable career path, and believes that the time is right for innovative education solutions. The technology sector, in particular, is not just growing but also morphing in response to changing economic and technology landscapes, and is therefore ripe with opportunities.
The National Network for Youth’s #boldsalute campaign is designed to highlight the work and efforts of those who have decided to be part of the solution by being change makers in their national and global communities. We intensively research national heroes in the fight to end youth homelessness and invite you to be social media partners with our honorees by following their efforts via Twitter and Facebook. #boldsalute @nn4youth.