ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
The Sage Hawk Foundation is a Native American-Serving (non-tribally controlled) nonprofit offering free computer literacy training to Native American Citizens who either just need a little help catching up to the technological curve, or need a new skillset to combat economic stress or poverty.
We bring computer literacy training and professional job placement services in the field of computing within reach of our students. Through this, we can make a measurable impact on mitigating the crippling effects of poverty on our first citizens, empowering them with the tools they need to thrive, survive, and preserve their valuable heritage.
So, In other words, Our students build their future. We just supply the tools.
What problem are we trying to address?
The lack of access to information technology on reservations is a significant hurdle to Native Americans trying to gain employment in the current technology-driven economy. Many of today’s jobs require some technical training... With the proper training and access to information technology, much of that work potentially could be done on reservations.
- Therese Bissell, The Digital Divide Dilemma (Source)
One of the key things that our mission at Sage Hawk focuses on is recognizing the difference between a symptom and a cause of a problem or struggle. There are so many well-meaning charities out there that try to help, but only seem to address the symptoms of poverty and crime but not the causes. One of the most glaring causes of poverty and crime is the inability to gain high-income employment due to a lack of computer skills and training. Without proper computer skills, Native Americans are often relegated to low-income, dead end jobs with no potential for growth.
How does focusing on Poverty help?
Our program targets those who are considered "at-risk" due to their socio-economic status. Lack of skills means lack of money and this forces hard choices to be made. Pay for food or starve; pay for a home or be evicted/homeless; pay for bills or live without electricity or water.
Survival improves when more choices are available. Statistics show that areas of poverty are often ridden with crime, feelings of hopelessness and despair. This often makes at-risk individuals commit to poor choices such as dropping out of school, becoming involved with drugs, substance abuse, theft or worse.
Individuals and families whose lives are impacted by poverty either have to rely on soup kitchens for food, government assistance to survive or live paycheck-to-paycheck in dead-end temporary jobs that offer no hope of advancement.
What do we plan on doing?
We plan on empowering those who are at-risk with the means to protect themselves with a marketable skill in the world of high tech.
We plan on offering exposure to free training in the world of high tech to at-risk individuals to open doors. Higher education can instill a heightened sense of worth, self-confidence, responsibility, maturity and by tapping into the spirit of creativity.
We plan on increasing earning power through education. High tech training will dramatically increase earning power and help put an end to the destructive cycle of dependence.