Choctaw Nation youth royalty during President Barack Obama's visit to Durant, Oklahoma, on July 15, 2015. Photo by Choctaw
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About 180 students from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma are getting a crash course in the latest technologies thanks to the Geek Squad Academy.
As part of a two-day camp in Durant, tribal youth are learning about digital music, HTML coding, circuitry and other emerging technologies. The venture marks the first time that Best Buy's Geek Squad Academy, a community support program now in its 10th year, has gone to Indian Country.
The effort furthers an initiative launched by President Barack Obama when he designated the Choctaw Nation as the first Promise Zone in Indian Country back in January 2014. He followed up with a visit to Durant last July and announced ConnectHome, a program aimed at expanding high-speed internet service in the tribe's jurisdictional area.
"Somewhere among the millions of young people who don’t have access to the digital world could be the next Mark Zuckerberg, the next Bill Gates. Some of them might be right here in the Choctaw Nation," Obama said during his visit. "But only if we make sure you have access and exposure. If we don’t give these young people the access to what they need to achieve their potential, then it’s our loss, it’s not just their loss."
In partnership with the Choctaw Nation, Best Buy's camp brings that kind of access directly to tribal youth. The program, free of charge to students ages 10 through 18, takes place Tuesday and Wednesday at Durant High School.
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