That’s how one staff member, Velina Chavez, and other community members described Isabel and Cassidy, the first ever Future Focused interns at the DiverseIT Computer Repair & Training Center.

As part of one of their senior projects, Isabel and Cassidy recently presented their intern experience to Tech Leadership High School (TLHS) staff and community members. They discussed the skills they learned over this semester and reflected on personal growth.

DiverseIT collaborated with the TLHS and Future Focused Education, a local nonprofit working with schools to promote innovation, opportunity, and building more prosperous communities, to make this happen. This kind of program is part of a DiverseIT goal to “bridge the digital divide.”

Two girls are standing by a projection screen with a slide reading "My Internship Experience." Isabel is on the left, and she is gesturing toward the slide. Cassidy is on the right, looking at the viewers.
Isabel and Cassidy presented on their experiences interning at DiverseIT.

A Relaxed Environment to Learn

Isabel and Cassidy found DiverseIT a welcoming and relaxing environment to learn. Both agreed that the Adelant environment was “chill” and, while they both had some challenges initially, they emphasized that DiverseIT staff were there to help them get past obstacles. Additionally, Isabel found that interning at DiverseIT helped her become more open-minded about trying new things. Finally, Cassidy is also excited to have more opportunity for herself in the future.

The interns learned or developed several important work skills, including computer refurbishing, problem solving, the basics of Salesforce, customer service, and communication. They also did a lot of hands-on work including helping the DiverseIT team refurbish computers and even helping to assemble the office chairs for the new work site. Both Cassidy and Isabel gained real-life experience.

They worked on a lot of computers. One of the attendees asked Isabel how many computers she worked on. “Like 30?” He asked. She replied, “Definitely more than 30, that’s for sure!” They added RAM, examined computers to see if any important components were missing, and installed hardware and software when necessary. Isabel also learned 3D modeling during her internship.

A group of nine people are standing together and posing for the camera. Isabel is in the center, fourth from the left; and Cassidy is also in the center, second from the right. Isabel is holding a sign with the DiverseIT logo. Jordan, the DiverseIT Program Manager, is standing in between and behind them. The other students are around them.
Isabel (center, fourth from the left) and Cassidy (center, second from the right) began as part of a cohort from Tech Leadership High School at DiverseIT. The next cohort starts in January 2020.

Gaining Skills for the Future

Often people believe they do not have the aptitude to learn technology, especially when they consider themselves artistic or right-brained. Cassidy proves this mindset wrong. “She’s an excellent artist,” says Velina, one of the TLHS team members. In fact, Cassidy says she can apply her new tech knowledge to her career aspirations in animation and culinary arts.

Isabel, on the other hand, wants to be a psychologist. She found that learning more about technology a an intern at DiverseIT helped her better navigate all the data she will have to work with and analyze in her future field.

This January, twelve new TLHS students will be joining Adelante as the next training cohort at DiverseIT.

Free Classes in January 2020

DiverseIT Computer Repair & Training is also offering several free classes in January thanks to funding from Comcast. Please share with anyone who would find these trainings beneficial. Free class times and subjects for January 2020 include:

· Computer Basics (January 14 or January 28, 2020 at 10 am)  A beginning computer class that teaches people what they need and want to know about using a computer and using it safely. Basic operations are covered as well as how to surf the internet safely and securely. Designed for technology novices, all questions are welcome. 

· Cyber Security/Online Safety (January 11 or January 25, 2020 at 10 am) Online safety is important. The goal of the class is to become a digital citizen, not a digital victim. Learn how to spot scams and frauds, create strong passwords, and protect yourself from phishing.

All of the free classes take place at the DiverseIT Computer Repair & Training Center, 5400 San Mateo Blvd NE, in Albuquerque’s Northeast heights. For more information on DiverseIT, visit www.DiverseIT.org, call (505)881-TECH, or send an email to DiverseIT@GoAdelante.org.