City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:041117
City Library Launches ‘YouthSpark Live’ in Long Beach
Susan Jones, Manager
Main Library Services

Eighty Long Beach students from Washington and Hamilton Middle Schools participated in YouthSpark Live, a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) program, on Monday, April 10, 2017, at the Michelle Obama Library.

The one-day program was a Digital Alliance between the City and Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft) to provide participants with hands-on technology training designed to engage and inspire youth to pursue further studies in computer science.

“We are proud to partner with Microsoft, a global leader in innovation, technology, and education in supporting and nurturing technology and innovation leaders within Long Beach, a world class city,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.

YouthSpark Live is a Microsoft global initiative to educate young people on the power of technology and its positive impact on their future. Microsoft’s goal is to ensure all young people have the opportunity to learn computer science and to close the computer science gap, especially among young women, students of color, and youth from low-income communities.

“We at Microsoft are proud to announce the re-signing of a Digital Alliance Agreement with the City of Long Beach for a second year. This is a testament to the City's commitment to innovation and support of computer science training for youth,” said Celeste Alleyne, Director, Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs. “Microsoft is excited to support the City of Long Beach; we believe that the power of technology helps individuals and communities do more and achieve more, so they can ultimately realize their full potential.”

“I am happy to partner with Microsoft to help light a spark in our youth from Hamilton and Washington Middle Schools,” said Vice Mayor Rex Richardson. “YouthSpark helps youth learn new technological skills that will help them become innovators and drivers of growth and opportunity."

Participants heard from keynote speaker, Lisa Mae Brunson, founder of Wonder Women Tech, who shared her own experiences in STEAM and strong commitment to increasing diversity in those fields. They also took tours of The Studio, the library’s community workspace that houses 3D printers, scanners, and computers with Adobe Creative Suite 6. The Studio provides a creative environment for students to socialize, innovate and collaborate using technology.

“I want to see our students go on to amazing careers in STEAM, said Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez. I am very glad that Long Beach is a leader in bridging the digital divide and bringing needed resources to our community in order to make that happen.”

On Tuesday, April 7, 2017, the City Council approved the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft for the programming of Microsoft Digital Alliance YouthSpark, for a three-year period.

“Our library is excited to continue this amazing partnership with Microsoft, Digital Alliance,” said Glenda Williams, Director of the Long Beach Public Library. “The YouthSpark Live program is a perfect enhancement to the STEAM classes and workshops Long Beach Libraries provide daily as part of our Studio and Mobile Studio programs. We look forward to expanding educational opportunities for Long Beach students and are thrilled to host technology experts from Microsoft for this day-long learning experience.”

The City is committed to fostering new jobs and entrepreneurial innovation by institutionalizing a culture of economic opportunity and inclusion that exposes students to careers in STEAM. The partnership between the City and Microsoft Digital Alliance is one component of the City’s approach to creating long lasting economic opportunity.

About Microsoft YouthSpark Initiative
Microsoft is committed to increasing access to computer science education. Through its global YouthSpark initiative, they partner with nonprofit organizations, schools, governments and other businesses to make more computer science education courses, trainings and resources available, so you can learn the computational thinking and problem-solving skills that will help you today and in your future. For more information, please visit the YouthSpark Hub.

About the Innovation Team
Launched in 2012, the Innovation Teams Program is one of seven Government Innovation offerings at Bloomberg Philanthropies. Innovation teams (i-teams) function as in-house innovation consultants; helping agency leaders and staff go through a data-driven process to assess problems, generate responsive new interventions, develop partnerships, and deliver measurable results. The City of Long Beach is one of 20 cities around the world that are participating in the program. Launched in 2015, Long Beach’s i-team works closely, and supportively, with their colleagues across city government — offering them a different set of tools and techniques to innovate more effectively. In partnership with these colleagues, the Long Beach i-team aims to deeply understand the problem they are trying to solve by building empathy for the people impacted by it and then work quickly and creatively to co-create and test solutions that deliver meaningful results for residents.

For more information on the City of Long Beach Innovation Team, please visit or follow them on Twitter @iteam_LongBeach and Facebook.