World Changers: Giva Salutes FOHTA (From One Hand to Another)
Here at Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here.
From One Hand to Another (FOHTA)
There are many brilliant young minds in the world today, children who have amazing ideas and the potential to truly succeed at accomplishing their dreams. But this is a task that is impossible to do alone without support or knowledge of all the opportunities that are available. Access to learning tools is a must, and this is where Pharrell Williams' organization From One Hand to Another (FOHTA) comes in.
Pharrell Williams founded FOHTA in 2008 because he believed that under-served youth were more likely to succeed if they were living in an area with a community center with a strong focus on education. Each community center would help children by exposing them to different technologies and resources so that those children could find what inspires them and makes them happy. The mission of FOHTA is "to change the world one kid at a time by providing them the tools and resources to meet their unique potential".
The tools that FOHTA believes each child needs falls under the acronym of STEAMM: Science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and motivation. As noted on their website, they believe these tools are becoming increasingly important because at this point America is one generation away from an education meltdown. It may seem drastic, but there have always been issues with the education system. They state that 25% of high school students do not graduate, which should be seen as completely unacceptable. College graduates worry about finding employment; and when a student is lacking a high school diploma, the unemployment rate increases dramatically.
One of the ways in which FOHTA is helping is by offering elementary and middle school courses online that people can log in and access on their website. There is also a forum for teachers where they can discuss FOHTA with other teachers. During the summer of 2014, they also held a Summer Innovation Camp, where students could sign up, teachers could apply for paid positions and others could find volunteer work. Their website also has a testimonial section, where people can read about how others and their loved ones have been positively affected by the organization.