Research indicates that 90 percent of teens ages 13-17 have experience using social media. On average, teens today spend close to nine hours every day scrolling through social media platforms and internet pages, not including time spent doing schoolwork
In addition, millions of children under age 13 have lied about their age to create profiles on popular social media platforms, which typically require a minimum age of 13.
The Internet is a powerful tool that can open doors of opportunity while providing a world of information on any topic under the sun. On the flip side, it contains a minefield of dangers ranging from bullying to identity theft.
At MySecureKid, we put the power of Internet technology into the hands of disadvantaged children while equipping them with the knowledge and tools they need to use the Internet safely. Based in Arlington, Virginia’s historic Green Valley community, our global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization targets children, parents, and educators with a range of activities designed to promote online safety awareness while helping disadvantaged young people map and prepare for their future career success. We work closely with public and private sector partners to create a pipeline of diverse talent ready for careers in science, technology, engineering, math, cybersecurity (STEAM- C), healthcare, and IT through workshops, mentoring, apprenticeships, scholarships, internships, and more.
The nonprofit’s founding director is Quiana Gainey, an IT and cybersecurity expert and entrepreneur who founded the organization to train the next generation of tech talent for future jobs while working on projects that keep kids safe on the Internet. Quiana is a 20-year IT industry veteran and MBA who founded the IT security firm SecureTech360 in 2010. As a social entrepreneur and humanitarian, she strives to ensure that underrepresented communities share in the rewards new technologies bring.
At Mysecurekid, our goal is to create a safe environment for children online, fighting against cyberbullying, human trafficking, and adolescent suicide by providing positive role models and building a bridge that connects communities with valuable resources. Examples of some of our initiatives include cybersecurity best practice training, coding workshops, career days, virtual and in-person summer camps, and supplemental technical training programs for homeschooling and distance learners. As part of our work to provide educational opportunities to promising young scholars, we offer scholarships to qualifying youth aspiring to enter the workforce as IT professionals.
We also offer life and job readiness skills training courses on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to financial literacy, self-care, and self-esteem. As the need arises, we provide online and in-person literacy and tutoring programs to help children and young adults with disabilities such as autism and dyslexia. We also organize mobile food programs to assist children in need and encourage self-sustenance and health empowerment through hands-on urban gardening experiences to teach children and families about the importance of holistic wellness.
Though our programs primarily serve the needs of children and youth, we also offer programming geared toward adult women and military veterans from underserved communities.
Our ultimate goal is to be a bridge builder, advocate, and guide as we prepare the next generation of technology pioneers to step up as leaders working for a safe and equitable world.
*SOURCE: AACAP Facts For Families.