(Courtesy JEVS Human Services)
Center City-based nonprofit JEVS Human Services just graduated another class of 40 students from its Project WOW IT program for “at risk” young people who have dropped out of high school.
The group of students between the ages of 18-24 came from all over the city to Orleans Technical College in Northeast Philly for a 6-month period to earn their GEDs and learn trade skills like carpentry, plumbing, IT, computer literacy, hardware refurbishment and web design.
Project WOW was previously focused on teaching property maintenance skills, but students expressed a willingness to learn IT fundamentals, so the program evolved, a statement from the program said.
The recent graduation group focused on IT fundamentals like breaking down and repairing desktops, laptops, and iPhones, installing cables and learning about digital literacy. The graduating class also built a computer lab.
Project WOW IT is currently one of the three free programs JEVS is offering to train young folks in IT careers, and it’s funded by the Philadelphia Youth Network.
Most of the students enrolled had dropped out of high school to start jobs, because they had children or because they were incarcerated.
“Many of these young adults were headed for bright futures before being derailed for a variety of reasons,” said Sarah Hollister, VP of Youth and Gateway Programs with JEVS Human Services of the June 17th graduation
“Sometimes a second chance is all that is necessary—and that is exactly what we’ve seen in these graduates,” she added.
JEVS is also offering the IT Pre-Apprenticeship program, with three-months of in-class instruction, and two months of paid internships and training in the IT field.
A third offering is the IT Career Readiness Program, a six-month training program for young adults with developmental disabilities to gain IT and workplace skills. It’s coupled with hands-on training and paid work experience.
Project WOW is currently enrolling its next group of trainees for the IT and Pre-apprenticeship programs, which will include teaching general IT, coding, cybersecurity, digital literacy, cloud-based services and web design skills.
Students also have access to be COMP TIA A+ certified and paid work experience and job coaches.
JEVS also offers financial incentives during the programs for students who reach program goals. Student transportation passes are also provided.
The next group of WOW IT students enrolls July 29.-30-
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