Transforming lives through digital literacy.

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Eighteen young people, 30 weeks, 64 hours of professional development training, 953 hours of service to 1,409 community members . . .

These are just a few of the statistics that tell the story of our most recent Ready, Set, Connect! (RSC) program, a partnership project with the Oakland Public Library.

But RSC is about more than numbers, as the new report of the 2016 program reveals. Tt is all about the participants, who are young people aged 16 to 24, and the beneficiaries, who are users of public libraries.

The program helps young adults from Oakland to develop professional skills through training, mentoring, and industry field trips, while also growing their interpersonal skills through a program of local community service.

The 2016 cohort was incredibly diverse. The group spoke a combined total of 12 languages, ranging from Spanish to Tigrinya. The group of 18 youth assisted hundreds of library patrons to improve their computer skills, and they also worked on team projects that focused on social impact.

  • Jacky Chan, 17, worked on a website to help Chinese immigrants.
  • Henry Sales, 22, created materials for job seekers.
  • Ariana Vilchez, 19, researched the digital literacy needs of Spanish-speaking high school students.

One aspect of the program of which we are particularly proud is the access we provide to the industry. In 2016, the RSC youth visited seven tech employers located in the Bay Area and received some great advice from established professionals.

The 2015-2016 program was the most popular yet, with 95 applications. There is clearly a demand from young adults who are looking for a way to not only enter the industry but also serve their communities. This year’s program kicked off last September. Read more about the fifth cohort on our blog.

If you work in the tech field locally and would like to support this program in cash or kind, we’d love to hear from you! The more partners we can bring on board, the better the future prospects of the 2017-2018 cohort will be!

Career and Community: Youth Find a Future in Tech with CTN

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Kami Griffiths
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