The Timothy Smith Fund for "Old Roxbury" was established on March 8, 1996 by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the City of Boston through the acceptance of a bequest distribution from the Timothy Smith Fund which is held at Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company. Ruth and Timothy Smith directed in their last will and testament that the proceeds of their bequest be utilized to benefit the highest number of residents of the "old" City of Roxbury as possible.
The Timothy Smith Fund has authorized grants in excess of $4 million to thirty-nine charitable organizations in Roxbury for the creation of an integrated consortium of technology centers at their distinct facilities. The Smith Fund grants are utilized by each non-profit organization to acquire state-of-the-art computers and properly outfit each center with computer peripherals (printers/scanners) and furnishings (workstations and adjustable chairs). The Centers' computers are connected to an internal network through a server and externally via the Internet. The average center has twelve to fifteen computers, two printers, one scanner, a digital camera and twelve to fifteen workstations and chairs.
These Centers provide in total more than 1 million hours of computer access to be utilized by the Fund's non-profit partners for a wide variety of programs including job training, educational enrichment and open access. Funding for these activities is being provided by foundation, corporate, and governmental agencies as well as through user fees. The Timothy Smith Fund is also an endowment fund and has pledged to provide the more than $7.5 million to $12.5 million in projected funds necessary to maintain these Centers' state-of-the-art status for the next twenty years.
It is projected that all of these Centers will have their technology equipment replaced every three to five years. Mr. Smith was a well known merchant whose store was located in Dudley Square. He was a member of the board of managers of the City Missionary Society, a vice-president of the Roxbury Latin School and a senior deacon of the Eliot Congregational Church of Roxbury. He and his wife of 58 years passed away on the same day in 1918 (March 31) at the age of 83 and 80 respectively at their home on Roxbury's Elm Hill Street.
The Timothy Smith Network (TSN) is a member organization established to build the capacity of Greater Roxbury’s Timothy Smith Centers. The mission of the TSN is to increase the capacity of the Greater Roxbury community of Boston to effectively use and access technology by providing technology-related services, educational programs and resources as well as strengthening and supporting the individual Timothy Smith Centers. As of 2015 there are 29 active Timothy Smith Centers. Timothy Smith Centers provide comprehensive community-based technology education services to children, adults, families, adults, and senior citizens.
Timothy Smith Centers provide open access to technology and the Internet for many residents. The agencies in which the Timothy Smith Centers are located address a broad range of economic, therapeutic, health, educational, training, human and social services needs of the community. The TSN will strengthen the Timothy Smith Centers by assisting them to implement strategies for developing and sustaining their operations and for improving the efficiency, scale and quality of their programs.
The Timothy Smith Network, in partnership with various community organizations, provides comprehensive technology education services to residents of the greater Roxbury community. People of all ages have access to state of the art computer technology and to programs as rich in diversity as the neighborhood the network serves. These programs build the capacity of the people of Roxbury as they acquire the knowledge and skills critical to success in our increasingly technology-driven world.
1997 - 2003
Since 1997, the Timothy Smith Fund, managed and funded by the City of Boston Trust Office, has authorized grants in excess of $4 million to 39 community-based non-profit organizations in Greater Roxbury for the creation of computer learning and educational centers. The centers are located in a variety of social service agencies, health centers, community development corporations, standalone community technology centers, and faith-based organizations throughout the Greater Roxbury area. Today there are 32 active community technology centers.
- All TSN sites receive technological upgrades through the year 2019 ensuring that their equipment remains state-of-the-art. With this as the base, the TSN is working to strengthen the TSN sites by assisting them to implement strategies and standards for developing and sustaining their operations and for improving the efficiency, scale and quality of their programs. Several initiatives are underway in this endeavor:
- The TSN administers approximately $500,000 annually from the Timothy Smith Fund allocated for refurbishing hardware, software and furniture in the TSN Centers.
- The TSN has developed learning standards for classes offered at TSN Centers and is currently developing or acquiring curricula appropriate to these objectives and to the clients we serve.
- BPL VAULT sites receive high speed Internet access, have partnerships with local branch libraries and receive special training in the use of BPL electronic services.
- Certification and train-the-trainer opportunities are being provided to TSN Centers participating in the Boston Connects Grant.
- The Timothy Smith Network, Inc. became incorporated in Massachusetts on June 5, 2003. It is recognized as a non-profit in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the IRS as a 501(c)(3) corporation. All TSN sites are 501(c)(3) corporation
2003 - 2015
Since 2003 working in conjunction with the Timothy Smith Centers, the TSN has provided almost 1,154,351 hours of technology classes and services to 41,791 residents of Boston. In 2013-2014 alone over 36,377 students came to Timothy Smith Centers for open access, STEM programs in out-of-school time settings, basic technology classes, and job readiness training through the TSN's Online Learning Readiness progeam. Thus year the TSN partnered with Bunker Hill Community College to offer college credit courses at Timothy Smith Centers and began running classes leading to Microsoft Office Specialist Certification.
2003 Champions of Freedom Archie Williams Technology Award
Freedom House, Inc. selected the Timothy Smith Network as one of the 2003 Champions of Freedom for its work in bridging the digital divide and in ensuring that information technology is maintained and supported in the Roxbury Community. The TSN received the first Archie Williams Technology Award on May 22, 2003.
2006 Microsoft Global Unlimited Potential Awards Technology Award
On June 5, 2006, Pamela Passman, VP Global Corporate Affairs, Microsoft Corporation., presented the TSN with a 2006 Global Unlimited Potential Award in recognition of its "outstanding contributions to Microsoft Community Affairs and the Unlimited Potential Program.