Community impact: how El Centro de la Raza gave Dimitri a future he can bank on

March 9, 2018 / Montana

Education helps define who we are—yet it’s a gift that some take for granted. There are many members of our community who aren’t able to access training and education. For those individuals, the chance to learn can transform their lives.

That’s where El Centro de la Raza comes in. As a prominent nonprofit in Seattle, it invests in members of the community by advocating for social justice through education and workforce development programs designed to support those most affected by racial and economic opportunity gaps.

Take Dimitri, who at 19 years old, has a passion for computer programming with dreams of working in tech and traveling the world. However, he struggled with a minimum wage job with little room for growth.

A chance conversation directed Dimitri to El Centro de la Raza’s Young Adults in Tech program. The program supports El Centro de la Raza’s mission to prepare young people ages 16 – 24 with the tools to make academic progress and pursue secondary education. Here, he and many other young adults are able to learn the programming skills that will propel them to become future leaders in the tech industry.

And yet, investing resources in career development is just one of the many issues preventing young adults from attending workforce development programs such as Young Adults in Tech. Transportation is another barrier—this is where Uber can help.

The right tools to succeed

As a partner in the Uber NW Community Impact Initiative, El Centro de la Raza uses funding and donated Uber rides to help students like Dimitri get access to training while also making sure he can spend more time studying and less on long commutes.

“Before Uber, I had to wake up early and take a 2-hour bus ride to get to class. With Uber’s help, I save hours every day.” – Dimitri, Young Adults in Tech student

Through the Young Adults in Tech program, Dimitri interns as a data assistant, honing his web development skills and earning enough money to save for a car. “The program gave me the initiative to better my situation. Now I can save and invest in myself to get where I want to go.” With El Centro de la Raza and Uber behind him, Dimitri now has the tools to succeed.

Investing in the community

We’re proud to partner with El Centro de la Raza and support its vision in educating and empowering young people like Dimitri.

Uber has more than 250 tech employees in Seattle alone. By investing in programs such as Young Adults in Tech, we’re helping to close the digital skills gap and create the next generation of innovators.

In 2018, the Uber NW Community Impact Initiative has donated over $600,000 in financial assistance and rides to 45+ nonprofits across the region. For more information, visit