September 6, 2019
Suzanne HilkerStaff Writer
We just wrapped up another epic season of Geek Squad Academy (GSA). That means 10,000 teens from across the United States learned new skills and got hands-on with the latest technology.
GSA is nothing like a traditional classroom experience. You definitely won’t find a textbook. What you will find is a two-day camp with BB-8 robots used for teaching coding, Legos for stop-motion animation and of course iPads for music production. And more.
We couldn’t have done it without all 1,200 Best Buy employees who volunteered as instructors and helpers. We had 23 field lieutenants (aka on-site event managers) travel from coast to coast to bring GSA to underserved communities.
Agent Ricky Noriega, from San Antonio, Texas, spent the summer as a field lieutenant in addition to his full-time job. “I’ve been involved with Geek Squad Academy since 2008 and it’s been the best experience,” Ricky said. Being on the road and balancing work and family is not easy though. “It’s a huge commitment, but it’s helped me become a better employee and a better father. The GSA season brings out the best in me and energizes me before holiday.”
We hosted camps in some pretty cool locations this year, from a pro football stadium to a military base. We even flew to Puerto Rico. In all, we increased the number of camps we hosted from 50 to 60.
But it’s the locations that are close to our hearts that really stand out. TK Hester from Glen Allen, Virginia, volunteered at his first GSA camp this summer, which was held at the school he attended as a kid. “It was surreal going back to my school,” TK said. “I was able to reflect on what it was like to be the kid in a leadership program and now coming full circle as the volunteer. It’s so fulfilling.”
Pamela Smith from Morehead City, North Carolina, has been volunteering with GSA for years. “It’s my favorite part of the business,” Pamela said. “It inspires me to see the impact we have on the kids we teach. I love seeing the looks on their faces when we show kids technology they haven’t seen before.”
Click here to learn more about Geek Squad Academy.