August 27, 2019
Chris HavensStaff Writer
The first Best Buy Teen Tech Center in Alabama officially opened its doors on Tuesday.
Located on the campus of Wallace Community College in Selma (WCCS), the center is the result of a partnership among the college, Best Buy and pro football veteran Michael Johnson’s MJ 93-90 Foundation. Area teens will be able learn hands-on tech and workforce readiness skills, including music and video production, graphic design, robotics, virtual reality, coding and resume building.
The opening is a big milestone for Best Buy because it’s our 30thTeen Tech Center in operation, bringing us halfway toward our goal of 60 centers opened or identified by the end of 2020. These facilities are safe, after-school learning environments equipped with cutting-edge technology where teens can learn new skills, keep up with classes, make positive adult and peer relationships, and discover career pathways.
It’s our first time partnering with a community college and is well-situated because many high school students take classes there.
It’s also the first time we’ve partnered with a pro athlete on a Teen Tech Center. Michael was born and raised in Selma and is committed to giving back to the community. A historically significant city in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Selma is about 50 miles west of the state capital, Montgomery, and has a higher-than-average poverty rate.
“As a kid, I didn’t have places like this to go to, but I was very fortunate that I’m an athlete. I stayed busy playing sports year-round,” Michael said. “If you’re an athlete and can play all the sports like that, that’s cool, that fills up your free time. But if you’re not into that, then what do you do?”
Best Buy is working with local nonprofit partners and more than 50 funding partners to prepare youth from underserved communities for the tech-reliant careers of the future. We want to make sure every young person has an opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Michael sees the Teen Tech Center as a way to provide access and opportunity to students in Selma.
“They can come in and be encouraged. They can come in and develop different talents that they may not even know they had,” he said. “Come and see, see what you can be.”
Click here to learn more about our Best Buy Teen Tech Centers.