Outside of work, Janina Casey serves on the board of the National Urban Technology Center (shortened to Urban Tech). In this position, Janina Casey helps the organization’s mission to assist underserved students with a variety of programs.
Founded in 1995, Urban Tech empowers underprivileged students in the New York area. Though the organization utilizes technology, animation, and popular culture, to convey its message, it does not teach digital literacy alone. It uses these tools to pass on information about living a well-rounded, healthy life via social and job skills training.
Urban Tech sells its materials via its Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) program, packaged as individual learning modules. Each covers a certain subject, like financial literacy, conflict resolution, or healthy habits. Teachers may purchase the YLA bundle and harness all its contents in their classrooms. The primary YLA bundle contains nine lessons, fit for students in third grade or above, and a supplemental trio of modules for eighth-graders and above, containing lessons about personal relationships and health applicable to their demographic.
To widen the scope of its work, Urban Tech began the Get Healthy, Get Smart program. Implemented in New York’s middle and high schools, it integrates YLA modules into preexisting science curricula. Get Healthy, Get Smart emphasizes raising awareness of healthy lifestyle choices, like explaining the causes of diseases like diabetes and the effects of using drugs.