TechMission's mission is to empower others to transform at-risk communities in Jesus’ name through technology. We focus on social services and serve all participants without discrimination.
TechMission acts to empower others to transform at-risk communities in Jesus' name through technology. Our founder, Andrew Sears, grew up in the inner city and co-founded a multi-million dollar research group at MIT in 1996, studying the social implications of the Internet. Out of that research and experience, it became clear that the Internet and technology presented some great opportunities to transform at-risk communities. In 2002, TechMission was established to serve at-risk communities with a focus on education. We run a national AmeriCorps program with almost half of our AmeriCorps members serving in Boston and Massachusetts.
Through partnerships with after-school programs in Black and Latino churches, our TechMission Corps program has become the largest minority-led AmeriCorps program in Massachusetts (to our knowledge). This year, we expect our TechMission Corps program to provide 30 full-time AmeriCorps members to serve over 1,000 at-risk youth in Massachusetts (Boston and central and western Mass.), and 50 full-time AmeriCorps members to serve 1,050 at-risk youth at our national sites in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Denver. Members will provide activities to help them succeed in college and in life. TechMission also runs the largest Web portal for the faith-based social services sector and an accredited online college providing degrees in nonprofit management.
In the past 10 years, TechMission has:
- Matched 72,533 volunteers through ChristianVolunteering.org & programs
- Funded 511 full-time AmeriCorps Members & internsfor ministries serving 24,180 at-risk youth through City Vision Internships
- Served over 10 million unique visitors through our websites
- Provided accredited college courses with 536 students taking 2,468 courses through City Vision University
- Provided $78.6 million in resources to sites only spending $13 million (605% return on investment)
Since many community-based organizations serving at-risk populations struggle to find resources and staffing, we collaborate in order to enhance the programs they offer to the community, enabling us to address the following needs:
- Need for K-8 After-School Programs:Research from the US Department of Education's (DoE) Center for Education Statistics shows that being held back a grade in school more than doubles a student's chances of dropping out before finishing high school. On the 2009 MCAS, 16% of Black and 18% of Latino 5th graders failed the English Language Arts portion of the exam, compared to 5% of White students. On the Math portion, these 5th graders failed at a rate of 33% (Black) and 37% (Latino), compared to 13% for White students. Through our partnership with Sites in 2009-10, 89% of all youth in the programs improved by at least one letter grade in one core subject (or maintained an "A" or a "B"); 97% were promoted to the next grade.
- Need for Teen Programs:The Urban Institute's Education Policy Center reports that in Boston only 42.2% of Black and 30% of Latino youth graduate high school. Also, 2005 Census data for low-income Black or Latino families indicates that only 30% of dependent children ages 18-24 go on to college. We anticipate that by keeping youth on track academically and providing them with the tools they need to succeed, they will stay in school, be motivated to meet graduation requirements and aspire to go to college. We try to set the expectation with youth that post-secondary education is not an optional choice, but necessary for their future success, and we mentor participants towards the fulfillment of these expectations. Last year, 79% of graduating high school seniors in our Boston teen programs applied to and enrolled in college.
In the past 10 years, technology and the Internet has been transforming society. As the world becomes more connected electronically, we become more disconnected relationally. America is now more segregated than it was before the Civil Rights movement, and there are now more African-Americans in the U.S. correctional
system than there were slaves. But while church budgets have increased, the percentage of what churches give to the poor has decreased dramatically. We live in an age of “social leprosy” where we have become disconnected socially from each other. Leprosy destroys the body because it attacks the nervous system, so lepers
cannot feel when a body part is damaged; with social leprosy, we have lost touch with the pain of others in our world.
The goal of TechMission is to function as the nervous system in the Body to connect people to the poor, and we do this by using the power of technology and the Internet to multiply resources. In 2010, TechMission:
• Funded 92 full-time interns to ministries and served 4,118 at-risk youth through TechMission Corps
• Provided accredited college courses with 366 student registrations through City Vision College
• Matched 13,630 volunteers with 5,483 ministries and organizations serving the poor through ChristianVolunteering.org and TechMission Corps
• Provided 112,130 sermons and web pages of training materials on serving the poor to over 1.8 million unique visitors through UrbanMinistry.org
• Provided a total of $12.8 million in resources to ministries with a budget of only $1.5 million showing a return on investment of 858%
Based on the exponential growth of our past 10 years, we believe in the next 10 years we will be able to provide hundreds of millions of dollars worth of resources to ministries serving the poor by providing urban ministry resources and training to tens of millions of web visitors, placing millions of volunteers, equipping tens of thousands of urban ministry students and placing thousands of interns. By doing this, we can transform communities by connecting millions of people to the poor.
Board Chair Statement