SXSW Works With E4 Youth To Make Opportunities For Austin’s Underserved Youth

March 1, 2016
Contact Person: Carl Settles,

SXSW Works With E4 Youth To Make Opportunities For Austin’s Underserved Youth

AUSTIN, TEXAS – 2/29/16 – South By Southwest (SXSW) has teamed up with Austin non-profit E4 Youth to give at-risk students the opportunity to learn from and network with experienced digital creatives at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive and Film conferences.


Over the past four years, more than 160 students participating in E4 Youth programs have been provided access to SXSW programming. With the help of sponsors like SXSW, E4 Youth hopes to expand to more Austin-area schools and provide even greater opportunities for students to learn and network.


“The Austin economy is booming and yet, not everyone in the city is benefiting. It’s important for those of us who are to reach back and make sure that more folks are included—particularly underserved youth” says Hugh Forest, Director of SXSW Interactive. “We partner with E4 because they have a proven model for identifying and grooming young creative talent from underserved communities.”


Ninety percent of the students in the program are minorities and have limited exposure to the creative fields. Programs like E4 Youth enable students to develop creative capacity and earn internships, laptops/tablets, and even badges to SXSW.


“I’ve seen a remarkable change in the way my students approach their assignments. The exposure to events like SXSW, college mentors, professionals and tours of creative companies lets them know that there are opportunities out there for them. They are more serious and hopeful about their futures,” says Manor high school teacher Rakeda Ervin.


“I had heard so much about SXSW but never realized how much fun it would be and how much you can learn and how much you can discover. Thank you E4 Youth and SXSW for providing me the opportunity to be a part of this experience!” says Andres Vasquez, an E4 alumnus. SXSW is providing youth, like Andres, a creative spark that can lead to life enriching career opportunities.


E4 Youth was founded in 2009 and its goal is to work directly with schools and students to bridge the gap of the creative careers paths. E4 Youth has worked with more than 2000 students, providing exposure and mentorship to students. Through the program’s efforts, E4 Youth hopes to add diversity to the creative arts—advertising, film, digital, social, production, and more.




For more information on involvement or donations, please visit

Follow E4 Youth on and Twitter @e4youth


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