( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) The Organization Announced Its New Program Aiming to Ignite a Passion for Technology in Its Students
ENSPIRE Contributor: Cindy Rodriguez-Llivipuma
Frontline Outreach Inc., one of Orlando’s oldest urban youth and community organizations, announced on August 4th at their Encore Vision Breakfast, introducing Frontline Innovation Studios, a state-of-the-art facility that will train Orlando students with the newest and emerging technologies and prepare them for careers in various sectors of technology.
Hope Center West Founder, Bishop Allen T.D. Wiggins introduced at the event the new facility, supported by Ascend Studios with partnerships from renowned organizations like Full Sail University and other leaders in technology. “We no longer live in a time where technology is a novelty,” he said. “Technology evolves at an incredibly fast pace. Our goal with the Frontline Innovation Studios is to ‘awaken the genius’ in our students by giving them access to the latest technological advancements, as they prepare to take their place in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
The board chair of Frontline Outreach, Frank Mitchell, added, “It’s an exciting time, especially watching our kids’ dreams expand beyond what they ever imagined before…We are preparing our students to be the next generation of programmers, software developers, cybersecurity specialists, and more.”
To learn more about Frontline Outreach’s mission and program, we got to ask Bishop Allen T.D. Wiggins some of our most pressing questions.
Why did the organization choose technology as the focus of the program?
For over 50 years, Frontline Outreach has prepared urban youth for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Academics, and Innovation through deep immersion in training and athletics. The idea has been to develop “Mind Body and Spirit,” forming the skills and character to be successful in life whether as a truck driver or surgeon.
Today, those careers look much different. Many surgeons are performing operations using joysticks or guiding surgical needles, assisted by augmented reality headsets. And then once truck operator has a whole new range of options for delivering packages using drones for companies such as Amazon and DHL. Operators of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), as drones are technically called, are also driving aerial photography, search and rescue missions, and inspections, to name a few.
Technology has and will continue to be a societal ‘disruptor.’ However, it was during the Pandemic, that we witnessed the acceleration of technology’s redefinition of how we live, work, learn and connect. We recognized that while our youth are avid users of computers and social media, they are largely unaware of the commercial applications of emerging technologies such as robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, mixed realities, and artificial intelligence, to name a few.
Consequently, it is essential that Frontline continues its legacy of developing character and build upon it by adding technology. Frontline Outreach has introduced Frontline Innovation Studios as the vehicle that will provide our next generation of youth the skills and ignite the passion in them to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Will the program be open to all Orlando students? Are there any requirements to take part in the program?
Frontline has typically served all children, families, and student populations in the greater 32805 zip code. We have a strong partnership relationship with the Legends Academy, a K-8 Charter School located within walking distance of our facility. While we have a concentrated focus on Middle School, Frontline’s partnership-based skill-building and career programs reach high school, out-of-school youth, and young adults.
What has the community feedback/reaction been like following the announcement of the program?
Frontline’s focus on a greater exposure of our community youth to technology has received enthusiastic support from all levels of the community including, the Mayor, City Commissioners, the business community, the faith community, and the educational and residential community. To paraphrase a community educational leader and neighbor, “What Frontline is doing is part of the Big Dreams that we have for this community. It is the path to the future that revolves around technology, advancements in science and communicating through the vehicle of technology, taking kids to places they have never been before.”
Do you plan on expanding the program to other cities?
Frontline Outreach is one part of the Hope Center West family: A Live, Work, Learn, Play and Worship community, focused on promoting “The Wholesome Family” by addressing the spiritual, educational, economic, health, housing, technology, and social needs of the community. The comprehensive community development model of Hope Center West can be applied to other urban underserved communities across the nation.
Specific to our technology program, we are continuing to expand the Frontline Innovation Studio technology model. As time progresses, we foresee replicating Frontline Innovation Studios with other organizations and in other jurisdictions.
Regarding the nonprofit’s million-dollar-plus campaign for the program, where can readers donate to the campaign?
It is a fact that our environment can affect our mood, our productivity, and our creativity, making us happier, more creative, and productive. Therefore, ‘Place’ is one of the key elements of the Frontline Innovation Studios program. This new ‘place’ will be exciting, fun, and functional. Our Million Dollar+ campaign will help to build out the ‘Place’ as well as secure the technology and underwrite the operations of the program. For donations, please visit www.Frontline-Outreach.org.
The nonprofit, which has been equipping leaders since 1967, has introduced various programs throughout the years to give every child the necessary tools to succeed in life. The funds currently being raised for their Million Dollar+ campaign will go towards facility improvements, the purchasing of cutting-edge equipment, and support for their Circle of Genius programming. To learn more about Frontline Outreach, receive updates on the organization, or to make a donation, visit the organization’s official website here.