Russell Westbrook is giving back to his hometown of Los Angeles, by arming at-risk youth with the tools to close the “digital divide” and learn tech skills.
According to PEOPLE, Monday, he he held a launch event for a new program in the city’s downtown area called the Westbrook/Brownstein Green Tech Program.
“I feel like this particular program actually impacts the kids’ futures, impacts their mind, the mentality of where they grew up, where they’re from,” the 2016-17 NBA MVP told the publication. “I definitely can relate to that because I feel like I was one of those kids growing up in the city of Los Angeles and finding my way, figuring out what was the best path for me.”
The 30 year old says witnessing the impact of programs aimed at sustained education while growing up fueled his desire to step in and do the same.
“That was my motivation, honestly,” he says. “I didn’t look for anybody to help or hand out but I definitely thought it was important that people that had the ‘power,’ the ability to be able to help, did that. It was motivation for me to be able to get to a level, to a point, where I can give back to some of the same kids that are in the same situation that I was in.”
Westbrook has partnered with philanthropist Chad Brownstein and The LA Conservation Corps, an environmentally focused youth development organization, to train students in advanced careers as coding, computer engineering, and computer literacy.
The Houston Rockets player shared news about the tech classes on his Instagram page.
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I’m proud to be partnering with Chad Brownstein and the LA Conservation Corps to launch the Westbrook/Brownstein Green Tech Program (WBGT), an initiative steered by a partnership between my Why Not? Foundation and LA philanthropist Chad Brownstein. The program will provide digital job skills to at-risk young adults in the Corps and break down the digital divide by providing skill training for green tech job opportunities to 500 Corpsmembers in Los Angeles. The Westbrook/Brownstein Green Tech Program will expose Corpsmembers to achievable career paths and provide technology related tools and education. #WHYNOT?