Russell Westbrook is helping at-risk youth learn tech skills in his hometown of Los Angeles, California, and on Monday he was at a launch event for a new program in the city’s downtown area.
It’s called the Westbrook/Brownstein Green Tech Program, and the Houston Rockets guard said kids will learn coding, computer engineering, computer literacy, 3-D printing, drone piloting, as well as robotics.
Westbrook and his Why Not? Foundation partnered with businessman Chad Brownstein for the program, which will take place inside The LA Conservation Corps. It’s also been reported that Westbrook and Brownstein are footing the bill for a new state of the art computer lab.
“I feel like this particular program actually impacts the kids’ futures, impacts their mind, the mentality of where they grew up, where they’re from,” the NBA star told People. “I definitely can relate to that because I feel like I was one of those kids growing up in the city of Los Angeles and finding my way, figuring out what was the best path for me.”
The 6-foot-3 point guard also said when he was growing up there was a lack of programs that helped him in the classroom or showed him how to face the working world.
“That was my motivation, honestly,” Westbrook explained. “I didn’t look for anybody to help or hand out, but I definitely thought it was important that people that had the power, the ability to be able to help, did that. It was motivation for me to be able to get to a level, to a point, where I can give back to some of the same kids that are in the same situation that I was in.”
The 30-year-old also shared news about the tech classes on his Instagram page and said he hopes the program will break down the “digital divide” through skills training.