Congratulations to the Castle Square Tenants Organization (CSTO) in Boston for receiving an award of $35,000 from the city’s Digital Equity Fund. Mayor Martin Walsh described the Digital Equity Fund as “one created to provide support to community based organizations that help Boston residents grow their digital skills while increasing access to information for all.” 

What is the Castle Square Tenants Organization? Founded in 1987 as a grassroots tenant’s response to the sale of the Castle Square apartment complex, as a nonprofit organization it provides crucial services to the apartments’ residents. “Bridging the digital divide,” said Deborah Backus, CSTO’s executive director,” is important for all Boston residents, and we are thrilled to partner with the Department of Innovation and Technology because of this grant.”

Information Technology training at CSTO is helping teens learn skills such as understanding PC hardware, learning how to refurbish used equipment, financial literacy, programming codes, resume writing and job readiness skills and more.

”We were finding that it was too expensive for many of the residents to buy a computer or if they did have one, and it broke, they couldn’t afford to fix it.”said Deborah Backus. With this grant more people will be served.

CSTO is a member of the Cristina Foundation's project, Alliance for Technology and Reuse ( AFTRR ). Because repair and reuse is central to their technology support programs, they chose to join this refurbishing community because it would help strengthen this work.