Participants in the Southwest Academy of DC were mentored in the world of IT and audio-video engineering. Courtesy of Wesley Oliver.

By George Kerr III

In the heart of Southwest DC, Westminster Presbyterian Church (WPC) embarked on a transformative journey to empower youths with technical skills that promised to break the cycle of violence and drug abuse disorder that plagued its community.

Passionate members of WPC organized the Southwest Academy of DC (SWADC). The dedicated staff of SWADC mentored and introduced young people to the world of IT and audio-video engineering. Through patient guidance and unwavering support, these young “ambassadors of goodwill” discovered their potential and fell in love with the possibilities of using technology to address the social issues in the community.

As the ambassadors learned these skills over the summer, their self-esteem and confidence blossomed. They saw a future that was not constrained by the boundaries of their circumstances but defined by their imagination and determination. The computer screen became a canvas for dreams, and the wires and circuits were a path to a brighter tomorrow.

This narrative is a testament to the power of education and mentorship, illustrating how the cultivation of technical skills and mentorship can pave the way for a future free from violence and substance use disorder, proving that these young people held the keys to their success and the transformation of their community.

Our Fiscal sponsors:  Westminster DC, Local Mission Grant for DC congregations from National Capital Presbytery, Friends of Southwest Foundation, Sasha Bruce. This activity is partially sponsored by the State Opioid Response grant through the District of Columbia Department of Behavior Health.

The community premiere on November 2 at 7:00 p.m. at Westminster DC, 400 I ST SW is open to the public. Please RSVP by visiting:

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