PCO (Phillips Charitable Organizations) is a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit set up by Charles Phillips, his wife Karen, and two of their friends. Charles Phillips’ wife Karen has been pivotal in driving the direction of this organization. Both her and her husband are inspirational African Americans, supporting a variety of different social, safety, and educational programs. Recently, they contributed some $250,000 to the East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP).

The Phillips’ are focused strongly on the STEM (science, technology, engineer, math) fields of study, in which lies their own background as well. Charles Phillips is currently CEO of Infor, a company that makes enterprise software. They both believe that more young people should be encouraged to enter the STEM field, as this is likely to shape the future.

Karen and Charles, who are African Americans, also strongly want to support those of the same minority background. This is why they decided to play a role in Blacks Give Back. The EHTP program effectively combined both the African American background and the STEM field. They have started a Robotics Program designed to improve the quality of life of people in East Harlem, a traditionally impoverished community. By encouraging young people to take part in the EHTP, they keep them off the streets, as well as educating them with the skills needed to make a real difference in the world of tomorrow.

Thanks to the contribution of the PCO, the EHTP will be able to continue to run and inspire young people. They will mention PCO in all promotional activities, thereby also encouraging others to donate to PCO so they can provide others with grants in turn.

Charles Phillips will be keeping a close eye on the results of the EHTP. He is very excited to see what the next generation of engineers will come up with, and how they will be able to shape the future of their community, and the country as a whole. As a true ‘techie’ himself, focusing particularly on computer software and on gadgets, he is hopeful that one of the EHTP students will be able to come up with something that he may use himself within Infor at some stage. But mostly, he hopes to be able to give those in disadvantaged communities the opportunity to climb out of poverty and build a life for themselves.

The PCO grant for the EHTP is $250,000, which they will receive over a period of three years. The EHTP, meanwhile, will be able to use this to support their own charitable and educational activities.

East Harlem, meanwhile, has very high levels of deprivation. This is true not just in terms of endemic poverty, but also poor health. It has been called the epicenter of the diabetes and obesity epidemic in New York. As such, it is hoped that the Robotics Program and EHTP will also break through some of the barriers towards physical activity. This is particularly true because the obesity epidemic has hit the African American community in East Harlem the hardest.

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