You can hear the warmth in Dana Gold's voice when she speaks about the impact that her organization,
, has had on the lives of teenagers in sub-Saharan Africa.
Family, which Gold co-founded with Amy Stokes (both are moms to adopted
kids from South Africa), links adults in the U.S. to impoverished teens
in South Africa via video conferencing. In 2008, Pop City featured
Family and since then the organization has grown by leaps and bounds.
Next Tuesday, Feb. 9, the Pittsburgh Technology Council will host a
celebration of Infinite Family's progress over the past three years.
is much to celebrate, says Gold: Infinite Family now has mentors in 20
U.S. states and in three different countries. And at the end of 2009,
they added another location in Soweto, South Africa, where teens can
link up with mentors via video. In addition to its growth, Infinite
Family has also expanded and improved the process of getting people
connected as mentors.
"All of our training now is done online
anytime, so to become a mentor you can access our video library and do
the training on your own schedule," Gold says. And the background check
process for becoming a mentor has been streamlined (fingerprinting is
no longer necessary and the process is done online).
thing hasn't changed: There is never a fee for becoming a mentor.
Rather than offering money, mentors are offering their time and their
willingness to really engage with teenagers in Africa. Mentoring can be
done on your own schedule from your home computer.
next week in Pittsburgh, says Gold (who is a Pittsburgher herself),
will be an opportunity for people to find out more about Infinite
Family. Find details about next week's event here
, and check out video testimonials from teens who participate in Infinite Family.
Sign up to receive Pop City each week.
Writer: Melissa Rayworth
Source: Dana Gold, Infinite Family
Image courtesy of Infinite Family