To the Place Where It All Began …
By Christopher Wallace, Development Manager
In the late 1990s, a few hopeful people moved into a row house in Northeast, DC, and called themselves “Byte Back.”
Their dream? To fight back. To help those who didn’t have the education, or the means, to gain economic independence. To make DC a better, stronger community. To make a new reality in which more people could achieve.
The visionary leaders who saw the need laid the framework for what Byte Back is today (If you have 3:00, you should watch Barbara Altman tell the story). Brookland community leaders helped bring us to this neighborhood, and we grew here over the last 20 years. It’s been our home, and this community and building will always be a vital part of Byte Back.
At the end of this month, 7,229 days after our incorporation as a nonprofit, our headquarters will no longer be in Brookland. Saying goodbye to this building and moving away (even though it’s a short 10 minutes away) is not easy.
We can’t begin to imagine the number of people who have walked through 815 Monroe Street’s front doors – experienced a computer for the first time here, taken a computer apart here, been incredibly frustrated by a computer here, learned and overcome that frustration here, left here and gotten a new job. The history in this place is incredible.
But we are unbelievably thrilled by the increased opportunities we can offer our students in our new headquarters in NoMa, near Union Station. Our students will study in classrooms that reflect their future careers. Byte Back will have four classrooms, new technology, a video studio, and offices where the future of the organization blossom.
We firmly believe Byte Back students deserve the absolute best, and we can’t wait for you to come and experience the amazing new space when we have our grand opening celebration this fall.
For now, we want to say thank you. Your leadership on the board, your time as a volunteer, your gifts as a financial supporter – these are the reasons we are expanding and bringing tech within reach for so many in this area we’re in an amazing position today. DC is a better community – and you’re a part of that.
In October 1997, 7,200-odd days ago, I was a kindergarten student in Indiana. I can only hope there are a couple of kindergarten students out there now who will be part of Byte Back in 2037.