For Immediate Release:
January 19, 2021
Enrollment Underway for County-Funded ‘Computing Career Corps’
TECH CORPS prepares students living in some of Franklin County’s lowest asset neighborhoods for 21st century technology careers
Columbus, OHIO — If you had asked JPMorgan Chase service technician Ruwayda Jama where she would be two years after high school graduation while she was still a senior, she would have told you, “I will be with my friends working in a warehouse or a fast-food restaurant.”
Jama’s life changed its trajectory after she saw a flyer posted on a Westland High School bulletin board inviting her to participate in the 2017 TECHCORPS Hack — a one-day event and competition to educate high school students about coding and computer science.
“Participating in the hackathon opened my eyes to the field of technology,” Jama explained. “Through the opportunities I received from TECH CORPS, doors have opened for me to a life I never thought was possible.”
Jama continued her technology journey and enrolled in TECH CORPS’ 2018 Computing Career Corps program funded by the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services (JFS).
“I loved learning about coding, hardware and the great-paying technology jobs open to students with computing experience,” Jama recalled. “I also gained confidence and learned professional skills.”
Before ending her TECH CORPS journey, Jama participated in one more program, Student TECH CORPS, where she earned her CompTIA IT Fundamentals certification. After high school graduation, she transitioned to Per Scholas, where she went on to earn her A+ and Network+ certifications.
Jama never did apply for a warehouse or fast-food job. Instead, she obtained an entry-level position in technology gaining the experience she needed to receive and accept an offer from JPMorgan Chase. Having gained an appreciation for the value of technology education, Jama is pursuing her Cyber Security certification while working full-time.
Jama’s experience is only one of many student success stories that have resulted through the partnership between TECH CORPS and Franklin County.
“We believe all students should have access to high-quality technology learning experiences,” said Lisa Chambers, TECH CORPS’ National Executive Director. “In communities where access and exposure to tech education and careers is limited, we are forging collaborative partnerships, like the one with Franklin County, to help bring these skills and experiences to students.”
Last month, the Franklin County Commissioners approved $150,000 in funding for TECH CORPS to provide nearly 100 Franklin County high school students with an opportunity to develop their technology skills, while at the same time exploring technology career pathways. Now in its eighth year, the partnership supports the mission of the commissioners’ Rise Together Blueprint to Reduce Poverty in Franklin County, JFS Director and Deputy County Administrator for Health and Human Services Joy Bivens said.
“We’ve continued to partner with TECH CORPS over the years because they view this work and these programs through an equity lens,” Bivens said. “Through this partnership, we’re able to equip these young people with the tools to compete in the technology economy. They’re graduating better prepared for college or ready to go straight into good-paying, in-demand career fields.”
TECH CORPS is now accepting applications for its 2021 Computing Career Corps virtual program. This year’s program will start in February and take place online but is highly interactive and includes a mix of online instruction, guided activities with peers and individual work time. Eligible students will meet one evening a week for 15 weeks and learn about coding, hardware and some of the exciting tech jobs available in their community. Students who successfully complete the program will earn a new laptop. To learn more about Computing Career Corps and begin the application process, visit http://bit.ly/2021CCC.
About TECH CORPS
TECH CORPS is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring K-12 students have equal access to computer science programs, skills and resources that enhance early learning and prepare them for college and career. TECH CORPS develops CS and IT programs and deploys tech-savvy talent to assist K-12 schools and youth-serving organizations across the country. Over the years, partners such as JPMorgan Chase, Nordson Corporation, Battelle and Cognizant have provided TECH CORPS with the fuel to deliver much-needed technology resources to K-12 students and teachers. Since 1995, more than 15,000 TECH CORPS volunteers have shared their time and talents assisting schools and nonprofit organizations in their communities. TECH CORPS was founded in 1995 by Gary Beach, Publisher Emeritus of CIO Magazine and author of The U.S. Technology Skills Gap.
About Franklin County
The Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services provides timely public assistance benefits and builds community partnership through inclusion, responsiveness and innovation. Learn more at https://jfs.franklincountyohio.gov and follow JFS on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.