The students in our ITWorks Delaware class are closing out the Spring 2017 session! We recently talked with Ameena Stevenson, one of the students in this enthusiastic class. As a recent high school graduate and new mom, Ameena knew she wanted to enter an in-demand field so she could support her family. Now that she has one certification and is gaining valuable hands-on experience at her internship, Ameena is excited about the future. Read on to learn more!
ITWorks: What had you been doing prior to starting ITWorks in regards to work and/or school?
Ameena: Prior to ITWorks, I was a year and a half into the “real world” after high school. I was working at Taco Bell, where I have been for roughly two years. It was my first job ever. I recently tried college for a semester, but it was extremely difficult. So after having my son, I continued to work in the fast food industry.
ITW: How did you hear about the ITWorks program? What made you decide to apply?
A: Well I was just a new mother looking for better work and a way to further my education. I happened to stumble across the ad on Craigslist. What made me apply, I guess, was the opportunity to provide for my newborn and live comfortably.
ITW: You’re about halfway through the program at this point. What has been the most challenging part of the classroom experience thus far? What about the most rewarding part?
A: I have to say the hardest part has been the exams. It is a constantly challenge as I knew nothing about technology before this class; let alone what a motherboard was! The most rewarding part was getting the grades I knew I was well capable of, and actually knowing more than I thought!
ITW: We focus on professional development each week with our Friday Sessions. What have you liked most about these sessions?
A: What I liked most about these sessions is how they helped me with deal with conflict and tricky situations, both good and bad. It is not only applicable for the workplace, but I have also been able to apply them with the real-life obstacles that I face in my daily life.
ITW: What are you excited about during the internship? Is there a specific experience you are hoping to walk away with?
A: I am excited about learning all that I can and taking that extra step to really apply myself during the internship. I wanted to land a spot where I can constantly grow, and I think I’ll be able to accomplish that.
ITW: Graduation is just a few short weeks away. Do you have any expectations on how the job search process will be?
A: Well searching for a job is a job in itself! I feel like it will different now that I am applying for a different field of work, but I am also more confident knowing that I have the certifications to qualify for the jobs I’ll be applying for.
ITW: What are your hopes for the future of ITWorks in Delaware?
A: To be able to expand the ITWorks brand and continue to excel! ITWorks has challenged me, and I hope to continue to challenge myself in my career. People in Delaware need to know about this opportunity.
ITW: Do you think you’ll want to stay involved with ITWorks after you graduate?
A: HECK YEAH! ITWorks has been nothing but good to me and gave me a new chance at life. I will forever but thankful and would love to stay involved anyway possible after graduation.
Over 100 volunteers give their time to each session of ITWorks. Volunteer participation is what sets this program apart and what makes being an ITWorks student such a special experience. There are several ways to get involved in all of our locations: Philadelphia, Delaware, and Las Vegas.
Become a Mentor
Help a current ITWorks student stay motivated, provide guidance and support, and encourage them through the duration of the class.
Time Commitment: 1 hour per week for 18 weeks; in-person, via phone or email.
Host a Friday Session
Teach the ITWorks students the “soft skills” they need to succeed in the workplace. Curriculum is provided. Present the topic yourself, or with a group of colleagues.
Time Commitment: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Friday of your choice while class is in session.
Host a Lunch & Learn
Join the ITWorks students over the lunch hour. Bring in food and open a discussion about your career and how you got to where you are today.
Time Commitment: One hour on any day of your choice, Monday through Thursday.
Provide an Internship
Collaborate with ITWorks staff to host a student (or two) for our capstone: a minimum 5-week internship with local IT organizations. Interns work 24 hours per week, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Time Commitment: Minimum of 5 weeks, plus time to interview and select your intern.
Our volunteers are such an asset to our programs and make a huge impact on our students. Tech Impact would not be the same without them!
Learn More About Becoming an IT Works Volunteer