Three Baltimore teen-agers will head to Boston this week to take part in an Intel Corp. conference where they will use technology to focus on issues that face their community.
The Intel Computer Clubhouse Network Teen Summit 2002, which lasts from Wednesday though Sunday, is expected to draw more than 100 participants from around the world. The teens from Baltimore are Andre Austin, 17; Eguine Foster, 14; and Daryl Alston, 18.
"I think what they're going to take away is a real sense that they're part of something much larger than their own clubhouses," said Roma Arellano, Intel's worldwide community education manager.
The summit's host is the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, an after-school program of the Museum of Science in Boston that gives children in underprivileged neighborhoods access to technology.
Teen-agers at the summit will be able to talk with college representatives and to learn from adults in different jobs about what it takes to break into their careers.
But they will spend most of their time in groups working on projects such as Web design, photography and creating comic books, said Christy Matte, program manager with the Intel computer clubhouse network program at the Museum of Science.
The groups will address community issues, whether it's creating music with a positive message or figuring out how to solve a problem in their neighborhoods, Matte said.
"All of the groups are focused on socially conscious results," she said.
The participating teen-agers come from Intel Computer Clubhouses around the world.
The Baltimore clubhouse opened in February and operates in the summer. It is funded by Intel, and equipment is provided by Hewlett-Packard as part of its "Digital Village" program, which awards $5 million in money and equipment to each of three underprivileged U.S. neighborhoods.
Baltimore won the grant for its East Baltimore empowerment zone, an area around Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The clubhouses aim to give underprivileged youths ages 8 to 18 opportunities by allowing them to use professional software and computers. It also tries to encourage creativity and self-confidence, according to Intel.
"We want to give them the skills and the knowledge that will make them employable," said Kimberli Manning, the coordinator for the Baltimore computer clubhouse.
Intel has earmarked $32 million to open 100 centers around the world by 2005. It has set up about 50 clubhouses in the United States and overseas, including ones in New York, Washington, Atlanta, Ireland and India.
Manning said that teen-agers at the local clubhouse have learned skills such as designing Web sites, making videos and using computers to alter photographs. Eguine Foster, one of the three teen-agers going to Boston this week, has used computers to superimpose a photo of herself onto a picture of rap musician Bow Wow.
"It's something that you can show off to a lot of people," Eguine said.