William Kendima moved from Liberia to the United States in 2005.
While in Liberia, Kendima never used a computer; however, through dedication, hard work, and a little help from ITWorks, Kendima’s dream of working in IT has been realized.
“I did not know how to use a computer, or even how to type. I worked very hard to learn as much as I could about computers and I realized that the IT field is where I really want to be, because I am able to be myself in this field,” commented Kendima, about how his love for computers came about .
And now, with the help of Bank of America’s Charitable Foundation’s
Neighborhood Builder's Award Tech Impact’s ITWorks program can continue helping at people like William Kendima achieve more, earn more, and make more change in their community.
When asked what ITWorks is, Tech Impact CEO, Patrick Calihan said, “It’s a sixteen-week program and they go through training for the first eleven weeks and after that we actually work to get them in a work environment.”
Each student enrolled in the highly competitive, free program works a 5 week internship, generally in the nonprofit sector. Here, the students get to flaunt their new skills in a professional environment. While working this mandatory internship, approximately 25% of the students are retained by their internship host.
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s Neighborhood Builders award was awarded to Tech Impact and the People’s Emergency Center (PEC) on December 5, 2013. The award was presented at a pop-up computer lab in a tent outside Rowan House, where People’s Emergency Center offers transitional housing. The lab offered computer access and wireless Internet to community members, since tech training is an important part of the educational services provided by both organizations.
The donations made to the two non profits are a part of more than $160 million donated to Neighborhood Builders by Bank of America in the last 10 years.
ITWorks targets urban youth who have previously shown promise and interest in the IT field, however were not able to continue their education for personal or financial reasons.
Because of the $200,000 unrestricted grant received from the Community Builders Award, ITWorks is empowered to continue brightening the future of at risk youth in the Delaware Valley.
Tech Impact is a world-wide provider of hands on tech services and support to nonprofit organizations since 2003. Tech Impact’s ultimate goal is to help communities realize the potential of technology to improve outcomes.
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