I was thrilled to see one of the MIRC partners receive the 2013 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service and $10,000 for her efforts. The award recognizes Minnesotans who, with “little thought of public recognition or financial reward,” serve, empower and unite the poor and disadvantaged to help themselves.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to meet with Project FINE in Winona. They are a nonprofit organization that helps newcomers integrate into the community. They provide foreign language interpreters and translators as well as opportunities for education, information, referral, and empowerment for immigrants and refugees. With funding through MIRC (Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities), they have also started with broadband adoption and computer literacy programs.
They have received donated computers and money from community partners. They have computer science majors who are tutoring FINE clients. Currently they offer training in the classes, but they have plans to expand training to people’s homes. The response has been terrific; people come early to the classes and want more.