Forbes.com features Future Generations Graduate School
On July 20, 2011, a press conference on Capitol Hill announced a Microsoft donation of $2 million in software for non-profit organizations in Appalachia. The Future Generations Graduate School received approximately $70,000 in software donations to be used in public computer centers based in volunteer fire departments across West Virginia. An Associated Press article on the event was featured in such media outlets as Forbes, CBS Atlanta, Charleston Gazette, and the Charlotte Observer.
At the press conference, Senator Rockefeller congratulated the Future Generations Graduate School and recognized the 5,000 volunteer hours that fire departments and their communities have given to set up and manage their public computer centers. "The Future Generations Graduate School has done a fantastic job," he said in increasing the availability of broadband internet access and training.
LeeAnn Shreve, Director of Operations for Future Generations West Virginia broadband program, said, "This generous software donation from Microsoft will be used in these centers to provide patrons with up-to-date access to computer programs. This will assist us in enabling these centers to meet local priorities in education – including basic computer skills, emergency response, health, and income generation."
With initial funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Future Generations Graduate School has set up 30 public computer centers in fire departments across 18 West Virginia counties. In 2011, the program expands to 20 more communities.
The Future Generations Graduate School (www.future.edu) specializes in community empowerment, offers a Master's Degree designed for community development practitioners worldwide, and extends educational access through the West Virginia Broadband Opportunities Program (www.futurewv.org).