Corporate Sponsor Highlight: IBM

IBMStrategically planning for the future and funding programs are critical to the success of a non-profit organization. Thanks to the tremendous support of IBM over the past three years, Austin Free-Net is able to continue making an impact by providing needed digital inclusion services to the community.

Photo of Beth Tracy and Juanita Budd

Beth Tracy, IBM Manager, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and Juanita Budd, AFN Executive Director

Through IBM’s contribution, students experiencing homelessness such as Eddie Marshall can learn basic computer skills in Austin Free-Net’s Getting It Done program at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless. Like many students, Eddie started the program with limited technology skills.  His primary goals were to increase his knowledge about computers, connect with family and research employment opportunities. Another challenge Eddie faced is that he is Illiterate. He has learned how to navigate websites, but was unable to read a Facebook message from his son. Working closely with our Program Specialist, Eddie significantly increased his computer skills.  Recently, Eddie was inspired to purchase a laptop to learn more. One of our volunteers helped Eddie select a laptop online and he now proudly brings it to AFN’s computer lab.

Thanks to IBM, AFN has helped 388 students this program year and 97% significantly increased their computer skills.  

Photo of Eddie Marshall

AFN Student, Eddie and AFN volunteer.

Outside of the computer learning lab, IBM has also demonstrated its excellent corporate citizenship and dedication to AFN. This summer, AFN received an IBM Impact grant to help the organization develop a three-year Strategic plan. Consultants from IBM, facilitated a two-day intensive planning workshop for AFN’s Board of Directors and leadership staff.  IBM also supports AFN through the expertise and dedication of Beth Tracy, IBM Manager, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. Beth has served on the Board of AFN since 2013.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank IBM for it’s outstanding commitment to digital inclusion and support of Austin Free-Net. Together we are impacting lives in the Austin community,” said Juanita Budd, AFN Executive Director.