Institute of politics Director
When Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, folks recognized that our campaign did something differently. By using digital media tools to communicate directly with the American people, the Obama campaign skillfully connected with its electorate. Revolutionary social media, web, and e-mail strategies gave voters ownership of a movement for change. And when President Obama entered the White House, those digital networks stayed intact. We now recognize that with a strong technical infrastructure and effective use of data, it is easier than ever for officials to reach the people they serve, and for their constituents to reach back.
TechTeam, a Student Civic Engagement project out of the Institute of Politics, works to develop such necessary digital toolsets within Chicago area community organizations, and state and local government. Oftentimes, public and social service organizations are behind the tech curve, lacking the tools to communicate and leverage data effectively. TechTeam confronts this resource gap by training students in the latest digital strategy skills, and then working with partner organizations to identify and implement digital improvements to boost their impacts.
By uniting the skills of students passionate about both public service and technological innovation, TechTeam commits itself to expanding outreach and impact in organizations that serve our local Chicago communities. For students, involvement with TechTeam means an opportunity to build valuable skills; for partner organizations, involvement with TechTeam means an opportunity to build valuable capacity. The TechTeam project embodies the spirit of meaningful service that guides our work at the Institute of Politics, and I hope you’ll get on board.
To whom it may concern,
I write on behalf of TechTeam, a group of students from the Institute of Politics of the University of Chicago who are volunteering their considerable talents to help community groups and non-for-profit organizations expand their reach through the use of information technology.
Today, even the most modestly funded organizations can lift their games through the use of creative websites and social media strategies. These bright, public-spirited young people have determined to bring their expertise to worthy groups who are trying to make a positive difference in the Chicago community but cannot afford to buy such services.
The goal of our Institute of Politics is to encourage young people to have an impact in the public arena, in whatever way they can. This TechTeam, an initiative of the students, is already making a difference.
Since TechTeam's founding in 2013, students have worked with local nonprofit and government partners including S.I.S.T.E.R.S. Inc., Representative Barbara Flynn Currie, We the People Media, and Representative Christian Mitchell to build websites, expand social media outreach, and develop strategic plans for digital communication. Tech Team students work closely with these clients, and they are committed to ensuring that their work has a relevant community impact.
I am tremendously proud of these young people for devoting their time to causes larger than themselves. It is a value we want to nurture in our students who I believe, will go on to make even larger contributions to our community, our country and the world in years to come.
I strongly urge you to take advantage of their voluntary services to enhance your own laudable efforts to lift our community.