Urban League of Greater Kansas City helps bridge the digital gap toward success

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City man, living on Section 8 housing one year ago, is getting ready to buy his own home. He says his success is thanks to the skills he learned through the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.

"There is hope. There is light on the other end of the tunnel," Charles Davis Sr. said.

The organization is entering its 100th year and continues to positively impact those in need through job fairs, computer classes and other community-based programs.

"All my life I've been a laborer by trade, and in the age process of growing older, after 50 years old, I knew that I had to change jobs because of the physical demand," Davis said.

Davis was working toward his college degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and said the digital divide was holding him back.

Charles Davis Sr.

"What we've found is that many people, while they have a smart phone, lack the technical skills that they need to use technology to navigate their lives more effectively, especially when it comes to a job search," President and CEO of the Greater Urban League of Kansas City Gwen Grant said.

Davis said the programs helped him finish his bachelor's degree in communications. The Urban League hired him as a retention coach to help others who find themselves in his situation -- and to be an example of success.

"Kansas City is a great place. It has an array of opportunities, and advantages for people to achieve their dreams," Davis said. "In one year, just one year, I have obtained goals that I would have never imagined."

Now Davis is taking the next step by working to close on his own home.

"Being self-sufficient, empowering yourself to obtain and live on your own is very, very, very rewarding," he said.

Davis said to those in his position that the Urban League can help you as well.

"If we could just believe and realize there are people out here, there are organizations out here that are waiting for you to come so that they can help you," he said.

"We are here to help them, but they have everything they need to be successful," Grant said. "They just need to come in, take that step, and we will coach and support them through that process."

The Urban League not only offers classes about technology, but college preparation, financial education, and parent empowerment programs.

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