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New Cox Innovation Lab at BGCA Provides Opportunities for Local Members

Lafayette, LA – The Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana celebrated the launch of a new technology-filled Innovation Lab at its Jackie Club, made possible by a $20,000-grant from the James M. Cox Foundation. The Cox Innovation Lab was welcomed with a ribbon cutting ceremony on January 20th.

The donation is part of a greater $150,000 gift from The James M. Cox Foundation to create new Cox Innovation Labs across the nation, develop STEM programming and provide training for the Boys & Girls Club staff. The Innovation Labs are the cornerstone of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Club Tech program, which provide students access to curriculum to advance their computer literacy skills. These Innovation Labs also help bridge the digital divide for children without access to a computer or internet connection at home.

Darryl Charles, Jackie Club Director, express, “Our kids are creative, and we want them to grow. We want to not only help them with their education but help them stretch and grow through technology. Cox has been so gracious with new ideas such as robotics, coding, virtual reality; all items the kids are excited to get started with.”

Rhyan Wheeler, CEO & President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana, supports the Innovation Lab as it brings new opportunities to their members. “The Cox Innovation Lab will promote critical thinking, a sense of adventure, and openness to adapt that will serve our members well into the future. It will provide them with the necessary tools to tackle the current challenges in their lives and their future workplace. It will stem the confidence and skills to keep adapting in their future.”

The Cox Innovation Lab provides new and innovative technology and support to help bridge the digital divide that exists for many young people in Acadiana. It will give the children going to the Boys & Girls Club the freedom to explore their interest in STEM while providing those without a computer or internet access a way to get connected and manage through distance learning. It includes laptop computers, furniture, 3D printers, Wi-Fi and internet services provided by Cox.

“We are excited to bring all of these great experiences into the Cox Innovation Lab for the members use these materials to think through and branch out who they want to be in the future,” says Market Vice President of Cox Communications, Erin Monroe Wesley. “Whether they want to be a doctor, lawyer, in the sports and entertainment industry, whatever they want to be, this will be the foundation for their success.”

About Cox Communications

Cox Communications is committed to creating meaningful moments of human connection through technology. The largest private broadband company in America, we proudly serve six and a half million homes and businesses across 18 states. We're dedicated to empowering others to build a better future and celebrate diverse products, people, suppliers, communities, and the characteristics that make each one unique. Cox Communications is the largest division of Cox Enterprises, a family-owned business founded in1898 by Governor James M. Cox.

About The James M. Cox Foundation

The James M. Cox Foundation is named in honor of Cox Enterprises’ founder and provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where the company operates. James M. Cox was Ohio's first three-term governor and the 1920 Democratic nominee for president of the United States. The Foundation concentrates its community support in several areas, including conservation and environment; early childhood education; empowering families and individuals for success; and health.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana

This year marks the 52nd anniversary of Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana. Boys & Girls Clubs of Acadiana operates under a mission to empower all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens. Serving youth in 7 different locations, Boys & Girls Clubs provide opportunities through after school and summer programs which focus on Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles & Habits, and Good Character & Leadership. An 8th location in New Iberia’s West End is projected to open in 2023.

If interested in supporting the Boys & Girls Club, visit or call 337-268-9555.

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