History & Accomplishments

Barbara Altman and Glenn Stein revisit Byte Back in 2016.

Byte Back was founded in 1997 by Glenn Stein, a computer professional, along with Barbara Altman, who gave the support and vision to change lives in Washington, DC.

Closing the digital divide through IT training for low-income residents gave people hope and opened doors to living-wage jobs. As Byte Back’s first co-directors, they affected change from the beginning. Since that time, Byte Back has provided hands-on computer training with the help of volunteer computer professionals.

Byte Back has served thousands of economically disadvantaged students, helping them acquire marketable skills and obtain meaningful employment. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Shortly after its founding, Byte Back gained a building that was to be used as its headquarters and classrooms, located in the heart of the Brookland neighborhood
  • Between 2008 and 2015, under the leadership of former Executive Director Kelley Ellsworth, Byte Back grew nearly 10-fold in funding, number of course sites, number of students, and staff.
  • Became a licensed post-secondary educational institution.
  • Featured as “One of the Best” nonprofits in the Catalogue for Philanthropy in 2010-11 and 2014-15.
  • Was a two-time finalist for the Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management.
  • Became a certified Microsoft Testing Center
  • AC Group Crop

    Some of the 2014-2015 Serve DC AmeriCorps cohort, who served as digital literacy instructors.

    Recruited, trained, and supported 54 AmeriCorps members from 2009 to 2015.

  • Had volunteers donate 90,920 hours from 2011 to 2014.
  • Taught at 52 locations in the DC metro area from 2008 to 2015
  • Increased the number of course enrollments from 433 in 2008 to a peak of 1,818 in 2012.
  • Created PC for Beginners curriculum in Spanish and for people with disabilities and low literacy learners.
  • Purchased a new van in 2015 to transport donated computers, among other things.
  • Placed formerly unemployed and underemployed students in jobs earning $35,000 to $70,000 a year working at Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics, IRS, the Department of Defense, US Patent and Trademark, and more.