The Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Action Center helps more than just the community. It also has a positive impact on the individuals who walk through the door. The YES program, also known as the Youth Empowerment Station, located in the center at 2829 Diamond St., offers computers to all residents who do not have one of their own. There are currently six computers available for use.
- The computers have been an essential tool in job searches, especially for resident Eddie Frazier. Frazier found his current job at Allied Barton while using the computers available to him through the YES program. The same is true for other residents. “Most people don’t have Internet access or computers,” Frazier said. “I know a lot of people that have gotten jobs through the computer lab here.”
Former receptionist Evettia Harden raved about the computer program as she filled out applications to find part-time work. “It is good that people can come here to work on the computers,” Harden said. “A lot of kids do GED work from these computers too.” According to the Philadelphia School Districts 2011 Annual Report, Strawberry Mansion High School has nearly a 9 percent dropout rate. These computers offer access to GED programs for those who have not finished high school.
The computers have been a part of the center since 2008 when the organization was awarded a grant from Temple University’s Social and Economic Development Program and the YES computer lab is expected to grow. “There is another component to the YES program that has not been unveiled, with new computers that will be arriving, the program will be launched,” said Tyrone Williams, a community specialist.