MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Achievers Foundation (UAF) was recently recognized by Shelby County Schools and the Memphis Office of Youth Services (MPLOY) Youth Summer Employment Program for assisting 91 high school interns using the BrightShift virtual learning environment. UAF successfully and safely conducted their financial literacy and auto body shop program using BrightShift's distance learning and secure video conferencing features.
UAF is a non-profit organization located in the poverty stricken Frayser area. They provide a citywide youth initiative for online summer job registration and connect youth to local businesses for potential internship opportunities.
"BrightShift has been a godsend," said Tangua Houston, Executive Director, co-founder and instructor of UAF. "We're black-owned. Black-operated. We hit the ground running and we're still running," she said. Like many other organizations, COVID-19 created obstacles to communication and operations for UAF. Feeling the pressure to find a solution to safely continue their mission in spite of local gathering and school restrictions, Houston turned to BrightShift. "We can't do this," said Houston, recalling her concerns during session planning, "we need a virtual platform."
UAF's mission to support youth in psycho-motor and conceptual skill development, with emphasis on nurturing all student potential, aligned with BrightShift's core values of collaboration, community, and ingenuity. John Sotiros, founder and CEO of BrightShift Inc., contacted Houston directly and delivered the software straight to her team.
"He loved the passion we have for our community," said Houston, recalling her communication with Sotiros. "I love the fact that the CEO of the company took the time to demonstrate and then videotape our session—for when I needed to go back on my own—to set myself up and set the students up to use BrightShift," she said.
BrightShift's features were able to support UAF's brain-based learning approach with strong operational emphasis on communal and partnership oriented change. BrightShift's virtual classroom functionality offered the flexible, user-friendly experience they needed.
"We can actually have them log in to see Mr. Mason, the co-founder and instructor for UAF, show how theory applies in the shop. They will actually see him paint the car," said Houston, who found that the platform had a short learning curve and fulfilled UAF's accessibility requirements.
"I was very honored to help," said Sotiros. "BrightShift finds its truest value in being a platform that helps educators change and empower young lives. The more connected our educational communities are, the better they perform and succeed. That's what our technology is all about."
Houston is looking forward to a strong future for the program and its students. "This was a gift. We have been given new life," she said. "We're getting geared up for the fall and we still have students all year long. We need the platform to continue to get the youth involved. We can reach out to more people this way. It truly makes UAF more accessible," said Houston. One of UAF's upcoming goals include boosting their apprenticeship program.
BrightShift's recent campaign, The Shift 2020, aims to provide the same features to districts and schools around the country. The development team hopes that BrightShift can give educators a safe and effective alternative to in-class education this Fall.
BrightShift is a new type of virtual learning environment made for the future of education technology. After 19 years of creating robust assessment programs and working with world-renowned IT companies, BrightShift's dedicated development team realized the need for a new testing platform. BrightShift became their educational software as a service (SaaS) solution supported by their experience working with over 5,000 schools in the United States.