How Best Buy and Adobe are cultivating the next generation of creators

Best Buy employees watching boy experiment on computer.

At Adobe, we believe that investing in the development of young people is one of the greatest contributions we can make to society. As Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund once said, “The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to.”

That same kind of thinking is what brought electronics retailer Best Buy together with The Clubhouse Network in 2012 for a program aimed at building state‐of‐the‐art “Best Buy Teen Tech Centers” in communities throughout the United States. The goal? To prepare teens from disinvested communities for jobs of the future.

Organizations such as Samsung, Adobe, Canon, Sony, Microsoft and more, have joined this great cause by lending their time, resources, expertise and technology to these centers. Adobe, for example, provided access to Creative Cloud licenses to each of the 35 Teen Tech Centers, giving members (ages 13 to 19) the opportunity to spend their after-school hours producing songs, constructing 3D models, making their own animations and videos, building websites, and much more.

“Now, more than ever, we’re seeing technology is essential for helping young people learn and stay connected,” says Andrea Wood, Best Buy’s head of social impact. “This pandemic has underscored the pronounced disparity between those who have access to the tech tools and training required to excel in school and in life, and those who don’t. We want to ensure all teens have an opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

According to research from the Council on Foreign Relations, nearly two-thirds of the 13 million new jobs created in the U.S. since 2010 required medium or advanced levels of digital technology skills. And there’s no doubt that most jobs in the next decade will also require tech expertise. Best Buy’s Teen Tech Centers help young people prepare for these careers through hands-on experience with technology such as digital media, robotics, virtual reality and 3D printing. Adult mentors in the Best Buy Teen Tech Center support youth members pursuing these various interests. The mentors work alongside teens, sharing their skills and knowledge with the students. So far, 92 percent of participants in the Teen Tech Centers plan to continue their education beyond high school, according to Best Buy.

In April of 2020, Adobe took its involvement in the program one step further by providing Creative Cloud licenses to 2,500 teens participating in the program, so they can continue to create and innovate at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adobe also created a webinar series in which its developers taught Teen Tech Center youth tips and tricks to navigate the software.

“Adobe has always been committed to empowering students to think creatively, so they can turn their classroom ideas into career opportunities,” says John Travis, VP of brand marketing at Adobe. “Creativity is a critical and on-demand skill for the workforce. It’s exciting to partner with Best Buy to help inspire the next generation to become lifelong creators.”

Best Buy is focused on enriching the lives of consumers through technology, whether it’s online, in stores or inside customers’ homes, by solving technology problems and addressing key human needs across a range of areas, including entertainment, productivity, communication, food, security and health. Through Adobe Experience Cloud solutions, including Adobe Experience Platform, Best Buy is meeting customer needs through a robust analytics and data science program, providing consumers with the right experience though real-time customer intelligence and advanced content management.