Celebrating the Success of Our Computing Career Corps Students

Celebrating the Success of Our Computing Career Corps Students

We are celebrating the success and incredible achievements of our Computing Career Corps students! Over the past 15 weeks, 69 students from 20 high schools across nine school districts immersed themselves in a transformative journey through the world of computer science. This program, specifically designed for 9th and 10th graders, delved into a wide array of topics including programming, app and game development, cybersecurity, and 3D printing. Alongside these technical skills, students also honed valuable employability skills that will serve them well into the future.

Tech Community Involvement

A standout feature of the program was the involvement of tech professionals from WillowTree, a TELUS International Company, and Google, who generously volunteered their time as subject matter experts and mentors. Their dedication and willingness to share their expertise left an indelible impression on our students, demonstrating the importance of mentorship in professional growth.

The tech volunteers spoke about various areas of computer science they currently work in:

  • Aaron Smith from WillowTree discussed HTML.
  • Nicole Baeder and Zach Painter from WillowTree instructed on CSS.
  • Joe Robbins and Keith Jenkins from WillowTree shared insights on Agile.
  • Nathan Molby and Zach Tumbleson from WillowTree went in-depth on Swift UI.
  • Tim Regan from WillowTree shared his passion for 3D printing.

Professionals from the Google Data Center in New Albany, Ohio made an impact. Through question-and-answer sessions, Charles Tracy and JoJo Brighton helped the students imagine themselves in careers at Google.

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Student Spotlight: Kanesha's Journey

One of our inspiring students, Kanesha, a 9th grader from Horizon Science Academy, began the program feeling shy and reserved, especially around adults. With support and encouragement from TECH CORPS staff, Kanesha faced her fears and embraced the opportunity for professional networking.

“When I was asked to introduce myself to one of the WillowTree visitors, I said no way. I had no idea what to say, and I would be too embarrassed,” Kanesha recalled. “After some encouragement and instruction, I decided to give it a try.”

Gathering her courage, Kanesha approached Keith Jenkins, Client Partner & Managing Director for WillowTree. Keith shared his perspective on the experience: “Talking to the students was energizing for me. One of the students told me he is interested in Cyber Security, and when I told him that I work with Dairy Queen and they are very interested in cyber security, his eyes lit up. It helped him connect how the work he is interested in connected to a brand he is familiar with.”

Reflecting on his conversation with Kanesha, Keith added, “My conversation with Kanesha was probably my favorite. I could tell she was nervous, so I just started asking her questions, and she opened up very quickly. She told me she is interested in immigration law, and I asked her if she has family outside the U.S. that she would like to help bring here someday, and she said yes. She also mentioned being very interested in tech and coding, so I said that it’s awesome that she has multiple areas of interest. She should pursue both because there’s likely a role for her someday that might include both.”

Kanesha’s initial nervousness quickly transformed into an animated conversation filled with smiles and laughter. Returning to her table, Kanesha’s newfound confidence was evident as she excitedly shared her experience with friends. “That was fun! I can’t believe I did it!” she exclaimed.

Impact and Future Aspirations

Experiences like Kanesha’s are at the heart of the Computing Career Corps program, providing students with real-world interactions that build confidence and prepare them for workforce success. As our students look ahead, equipped with both technical skills and professional networks, we are proud to support their journeys into the tech industry.

We are celebrating the success of our Computing Career Corps students.
The future is bright!

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the volunteers from WillowTree and Google for their invaluable contributions and to all the students who participated with enthusiasm and dedication. Computing Career Corps is a TECH CORPS signature program funded by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners and administered by the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services. The future of tech is bright with these talented young minds leading the way!

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