Today, it’s nearly impossible to gain employment without knowing basic computer skills. Unfortunately, the high cost of technology deepens the economic divide between today’s youth. As a result of the expense associated with technology, disadvantaged youth typically don’t have the computer skills that are crucial to success in school and the workforce.
Back in 2010, we began partnering with Guadalupe Alternative Program School (GAP), a school in St. Paul that provides education to underserved youth who have not been successful in traditional education settings. In an effort to prepare the students to secure stable employment upon graduation, we created a job-training program that teaches students basic computer skills and computer refurbishing and recycling. The curriculum, which uses the same Microsoft certified training program MCFS has successfully implemented at the Stillwater Correctional Facility, teaches students basic computer skills and computer recycling and refurbishing – skills that are becoming increasingly important in today’s economy and can lead to a job after graduation.
Students not only leave GAP with their high school diploma, but they have an IC3 (Internet and Computing Core Certification) certificate, job skills and references. Bringing technology to GAP has positively affected student learning in a variety of ways including: supporting the thinking process, increasing self-esteem and preparing students for the future.