New Cox Innovation Lab in south Scottsdale Boys & Girls Club empowers youth with cutting-edge technology

The new Cox Innovation Lab opened in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch in time for a busy summer camp. The room buildout and cutting-edge equipment were made possible by a $35,000 grant from Cox as part of a social impact initiative known as 34 by 34.

The completion of this project marks the sixth Greater Scottsdale Boys & Girls Club to build out a Cox Innovation Lab.

“Cox Innovation Labs are helping us close the digital divide while giving thousands of Arizona kids access to leading-edge technology,” said Susan Anable, Phoenix Market Vice President, Cox Communications.  “These kids are digital natives who need time and space to explore virtual reality, digital programming, and other tech not available in their classrooms and homes, that will prepare them for careers of the future.”

The sizeable Cox donation funded the removal of a wall to merge two small non-functional spaces, updated flooring, upgraded electrical, and a fresh coat of paint along with TVs, laptops, VR headsets, iPads, and esports technology.

“Creating a dedicated technology space in our Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch is a big deal for our kids here,” said Lyric Naquin, Chief Development Officer at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. “Cox’s commitment to investing in local youth and equipping them with the space and tools they need to succeed in an ever-evolving world will have a generational impact. Together, we are creating a legacy of innovation, empowering generations of young minds to dream big and turn their ideas into reality.”

The Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch Cox Innovation Lab is used by nearly 200 kids and teens a week for tech-focused programming helping them build confidence in their abilities, develop critical thinking skills, and prepare them for the future. The Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch Cox Innovation Lab was specifically outfitted with esports technology as they will be the first of the BGCS Clubs to have an esports team.

“Our kids love this space,” said Deidra Nietz, Branch Director at the BGCS Hartley & Ruth Barker Club. “They know what a lot of the equipment is, but for many, this is the first opportunity they’ve ever had to use it.”

Cox Communications has had a long-standing relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. They have invested more than $160,000 in BGCS Clubs providing their members spaces and tools to learn coding, digital arts, robotics, and new emerging technologies. Cox has helped to promote a safe and healthy digital lifestyle and connect youth with future tech careers.

Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and its nine locations on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.