Connected Tennessee Presents Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy With New Printers

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Shown from left to right, are Connected Tennessee State Operations Manager East Tennessee, Alyson Ferine; students, Carlisha McKenzie and Catalina Francisco; and CGLA Director Dr. Elaine Swafford.
Shown from left to right, are Connected Tennessee State Operations Manager East Tennessee, Alyson Ferine; students, Carlisha McKenzie and Catalina Francisco; and CGLA Director Dr. Elaine Swafford.

Connected Tennessee has donated 10 new printers to the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy on behalf of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy Foundation. The printers were awarded to the academy on Tuesday, as a part of a donation made by Lexmark International to the Computers 4 Kids (C4K) program. Kentucky-based Lexmark provided a total of 250 printers to the C4K program that were distributed across the state in the last year.

As part of the Computers 4 Kids: Preparing Tennessee’s Next Generation for Success project, the C4K program deploys computers, academic support programs, and workforce training to two disparate, but especially at-risk, populations: those in the state's foster care system who are "aging out" as they turn 18, and youth who are active in the state’s 76 Boys & Girls Clubs. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded program will impact the lives of nearly 60,000 youth across the state throughout the life of the grant – providing a helping hand to youth who are working hard to attain a better life for themselves.

Occasionally, the C4K program will also donate printers to local and state organizations with a focus on empowering and educating youth in the state, such as the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy Foundation.

The CGLA, led by Director Dr. Elaine Swafford and Dean of Students Maryo Beck, opened in 2009 with 75 students focusing on a college-prep curriculum based on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). There are now close to 200 girls in attendance and this spring, CGLA will graduate its first senior class.

“We’re ecstatic that Connected Tennessee thought of CGLA with this generous donation.  Some of our students do not have access to a reliable printer at home,” said Dr. Swafford. “Having this gift in the school will not only encourage our girls to stay after school and get help with homework but also allow them to complete and print it on our campus.” 

In just under five years, the Computers 4 Kids program has:

  • Awarded more than 4,300 computers to youth in need across the state
  • Supported all 76 of the state’s Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Provided computers to more than 3,250 foster youth aging out of the Department of Children’s Services program
  • Allowed the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee youth to complete over 90,000 hours of computer training
  • Impacted all 95 counties in Tennessee

“We are delighted to be able to provide these printers to the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy,” said Connected Tennessee State Operations Manager Alyson Ferine. “We are appreciative of the opportunity to assist an organization such as the CGLA with this donation so that they are able to continue their commitment to educating young girls and preparing them with the tools necessary to grow into successful women.”

The “Preparing Tennessee’s Next Generation for Success” project is a result of a $2.3 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant awarded to the C4K program in August 2010 by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). BTOP provides grants to support the deployment of broadband infrastructure, enhance and expand public computer centers, and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service.

For more information, visit

Tennessee Wesleyan Holds Annual Christmas Events

Tennessee Wesleyan College will hold its annual Christmas programs next week. The 13th Annual Lessons and Carols: Away in a Manger will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Athens. The service will feature music from the TWC choirs and band as well as scripture readings by TWC students, faculty and staff.  The Third Annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony ... (click for more)

Chattanooga State Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Chattanooga State continues its 50th Anniversary with a three-day Reunion celebration beginning in the Sculpture Garden at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 2 featuring, “Carols, Candy Canes, Cookies and Hot Cocoa.” Join the festivities, stroll through the brightly lit trees, and enjoy holiday melodies sung by the Music Department. At 7:30 p.m., move indoors for a Holiday Concert presented ... (click for more)

Monica McMillon, 37, Shot And Killed In Alton Park On Tuesday Night; 2 Shot On Holtzclaw Avenue

Monica McMillon, 37, was shot and killed in Alton Park on Tuesday night. Then several hours later, two people were shot on Holtzclaw Avenue. The Chattanooga Police responded to the 3800 block of Highland Ave. on the report of a shooting. Once on scene police located one victim inside a residence. She  was struck by gunfire and  succumbed to her injuries on ... (click for more)

Judge Denies Motion By Walker County To Delay Closing Of Hutcheson Hospital

A bankruptcy judge in Atlanta on Tuesday denied a motion by Walker County, Ga., is asking a delay in closing Hutcheson Medical Center and laying off employees. Judge Paul Bonapfel said he appreciated the position of Walker County, but he said he would not interfere with the business decision made by the trustees appointed to operate the Fort Oglethorpe hospital. He also said ... (click for more)

An Extra Helping Of Gratitude

After being thankful for the grace of God, my family and good health, this year I have an extra helping of gratitude to live in a special place called Chattanooga.   We endured the trauma of terrorism on July 16 and emerged more united and stronger than ever before.  We claim our heritage and celebrate our diversity like no other city in America.  We honor our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote DesJarlais Out!

There are two good bills in both the Senate and the House of Representatives right now that are directly aimed at the sadistic villains who derive some sick pleasure out of torturing helpless Tennessee Walking Horses. They call it “soring,” where caustic materials are lathered into a horse’s forelegs and then wrapped in plastic so they’ll cook. Sometimes they use nails or screws ... (click for more)