Concerned about the lack of young people entering technology professions, TECH CORPS partnered with Lead the Way, a Columbus-based youth development nonprofit organization, to introduce more than 100 teenagers to careers in the technology industry.
The program was structured as an eight-week youth employment experience for Franklin County TANF-eligible youth. The student-employees worked 25-hours a week and were paid $10/hour. Using TECH CORPS’ Student WEB CORPS® program, student- employees acquired a suite of web development, project management and professionalism skills.
“In the beginning, I hated this job,” said Ahmed Yacoub, a junior at Central Crossing High School. “It was overwhelming and hard, but as time went by I started to enjoy what I was learning and doing more and more.”
Working in project teams of five, the student-employees developed professionally constructed websites focused on causes relevant to their community. The following are some of the causes that the students addressed on their sites: Gang Violence, Bullying, Starvation, Diversity and Inclusion and Gun Violence.
“A number of studies have identified encouragement and exposure as leading indicators for whether or not a student chooses to pursue a Computer Science degree and career pathway,” said Lisa M. Chambers, TECH CORPS National Director. “Through TECH CORPS programs, like Student WEB CORPS, we seek to give students access to high-end computing experiences that encourage them to become fearless creators instead of low-end users of technology.”
Cherish Cardwell, a senior at Columbus Alternative High School said the program introduced her to new educational and career pathways. “I even found out what I want to major in because of this program – Computer Science,” said Cardwell.
Student WEB CORPS: Summer 2014 was funded by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and administered by FCDJFS.