What started as an inkling has become a movement.
Our mission was born in February 2017 when Digital Bridges Pittsburgh was established as an organization, being accepted for Fiscal Sponsorship by New Sun Rising. We embrace digital literacy and technology as a means to help our most marginalized, vulnerable people and communities.
2018 Impact to Date:
Making a Greater Hazelwood: Digital Bridges Pittsburgh is excited to participate in the first Making a Greater Hazelwood Mini-grant cohort. Since January 2018 we have:
- Partnered with JADA House International with demonstrable positive impact on 12 teen and young adult girls in Hazelwood.
- Created 12 individual career pathways using SmartFutures software.
- Helped with homework- leading to increased grades, high-school graduation for 4 members, and acceptance at CCAC for 2 members.
- Helped participants job hunt and seek internships (3 new jobs and 1 new internship in the last 3 months!)
- Taught and instilled emotional intelligence in participants with demonstrable progress in communication skills.
- Facilitated 6 extra work sessions at the library with community members and group participants. Work sessions are now every Tuesday at the library from 6-8
Together We Tech: Supported by Lively Pittsburgh we first held this event at the Hazelwood Library this past summer. We spent a half-day learning about:
- Safety online: protecting your data, identity, devices, reputation, and health.
- Common Tech Terms and Symbols: Demystifying the tech world. (hint: Hashtags are more than catchy sayings!)
- So you want to be a YouTube (or Instagram) Star? We’ll talk about growing your audience, getting those like and share, what they mean, and how to make MONEY in legitimate ways online.
- Scam Spotters: Don’t be fooled, we’ll show you how to spot something and not be taken advantage of!
Apps to UPGRADE your life: How to find them and how to use them.
Launch Sto-Rox: Digital Bridges was selected by community members to be part of this 12-month business incubator project. We are committed to the rebuilding of the Sto-Rox region. Our programs promoting smart, practical use of technology are helping residents to upgrade their digital skills and envision their lives and careers in a new way.
E.B. Think Tank: Social Justice is in our blood. As part of the Elsinor Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice we are part of a group of individuals coming together around our passion for helping those impacted by the legal system. This group of community stakeholders includes universities, law enforcement, social services, theater activists, returning citizens and families affected by imprisonment. Sitting around the table we work together to make Pittsburgh a more socially equitable place to live.
Community Events: Connecting with the community directly is always our first priority. So far in 2018 we have participated in the following community events.
- Making a Greater Hazelwood Community Fair
- Inclusive Innovation week as part of the HOMAGO event at Nova Center.
- Father Ryan Art Center 10th Anniversary Block Party
- We Are The Village Community Day- McKees Rocks
Digital Bridges Year 1 Programs:
So, You Want to Be A YouTube Star:
This interactive workshop was given at Steeltown Productions to students learning about the film industry. Young people are highly engaged in social media. Education around safe technology practices is essential to their development. This program teaches responsible self-promotion and business concepts such as pay-per-click advertising, branding, marketing, how to responsibly generate income and other concepts necessary for a career in social media or other digitally-oriented fields. We take a practical look at what it takes to make a safe, realistic living in the digital world.
Digital You! Protect and Promote:
Program delivered at Robert Morris University to the Women’s Leadership Mentorship program. This workshop teaches young adults how to use technology to learn and grow while also being protective of their brand and identity.
Organizing and Using Your Data:
This 4 hour workshop has been presented twice at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management teaching professionals how to organize their data sources and create valuable reports and graphics that tell their story and improve their impact.
Early Impact with the Social Media Advisory Council:
- 2013- The Social Media Advisory Council is founded when a high-school rape case becomes aggravated by photos circulated via social media, intense national media attention, and public response on social media resulting in devastating legal ramifications and immeasurable social damage in the close-knit, the small town of Weirton, WV. The organization's founders wanted to create a place, starting with a website, where people could go to learn responsible ways to conduct themselves on social media.
- 2014-2016 SMAC adopts the iRespect Program in conjunction with the WVU Extension Service.
- iRespect is a cyberbullying prevention program which fits curricular needs of 5th-8th-grade students. Students are taught skills to handle online conflict, relate to others, and maintain positive relationships.
- 2016- Social Media Unlocked was created as a basic introduction to social media, platforms, building an audience, and ethics in social media.
Social Media Advisory Counsel Testimonial- from David Whalen, CEO
“I would like to express my confidence in Connie Capiotis. She has been a part of our organization for about 2 years and has provided valuable support for our mission.
Throughout her time with the Social Media Advisory Council, she has given social media presentations to many civic groups, has become an instructor for iRespect, an anti-cyberbullying program, and has worked hard soliciting funds on behalf of our organization. In September of 2016, we promoted her to the Executive Director position with the responsibility to grow our footprint in the greater Pittsburgh area. We consider her efforts in this role to have met and exceeded our expectations.
Connie is very knowledgeable in the field of social media, but more importantly, her enthusiasm for educating and promoting proper social media skills is outstanding. Although she has left our organization to pursue her own projects, we remain very supportive of her talents and wish her the best.”
- 2016- 412 YouthZone- Specializing in young adults aging out of the foster system (16-24). A presentation was given about positive communication and safety online.
- 2016-2017 Allentown and South Side Senior Centers -Programs were delivered about basic technology skills, cybersecurity, and social media. We discussed topics like search, how to use technology for entertainment, and how to protect yourself online.
“Thanks again for coming to the Allentown Senior Center this morning! I could tell that they really enjoyed it. It's rare that they can find people in their lives who will sit and talk about technology with them and listen to their questions and concerns. Thank you for that!” –Veronica, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.