Hello all, and thank you once again for taking the time to read our newsletter. The first thing I want to remind you of is that our inaugural Teen Business Challenge event is coming up in just a couple of short weeks. Thanks to our wonderful sponsors Bank of America, Nielsen, and TGIFridays, we are anxiously anticipating a great event. The youth have been selected and we have an awesome group of entrepreneur coaches and judges including Hillsborough County Commissioner Lesley “Les” Miller, Former NBA Basketball star and owner of PenGeo, Inc. which runs several restaurant chains in Central and West Florida, George Tinsley, and Dr. Koutroumanis, Associate Director of the University of Tampa Entrepreneurship Center. Of course all proceeds from the event will benefit us and our wonderful non-profit partners, Teen Business Challenge and 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay.
Secondly since this is Black History Month I wanted to highlight African American computer scientist, engineer, and inventor Dr. Mark Dean. Dr. Dean is credited with helping develop a number of landmark technologies, including the color PC monitor, the Industry Standard Architecture (ISA) system bus and the first gigahertz computer chip. Born in 1957, Dr. Dean went to work for IBM at age 22, where he was the first African America to be named as an IBM Fellow, and holds over 20 patents, including three of IBM’s original nine PC patents. He was also named to the Inventors Hall of Fame in 1997. Truly Dr. Dean is a remarkable individual and I am proud to highlight his contribution to Information Technology as a part of our Black History Month celebration.
STUDENT SUCCESS: CELEBRATING A RISING STAR
Meet Chen’Yere Franklin
One minute into a conversation with Chen’Yere Franklin reveals that her association with Computer Mentors Group is a mutually beneficial relationship. As expected she is learning a great deal from CMG. This extremely articulate young lady will also be a wonderful representative for CMG. This young person is headed for big things.
Chen’Yere is a King High School senior who joined CMG in her junior year. She has successfully completed two Microsoft computer certifications and working on a third. She is the proud owner of a pair of Beets headphones she selected with the points she’s earned for obtaining the certifications. In the near future Franklin will be given a computer project to complete her program objectives.
Chen’Yere was also nominated for, submitted an application video and was accepted into CMG’s Teen Business Challenge. She is excited about the program and feels she will perform well by using the very skills she highlighted in her video. She says she has good ideas, works well with others, and works well on teams. She believes this kind of program is made for her. She is excited about really learning how business works and producing a product the investors will pick for actual implementation.
Teen Business Challenge is a call to action for teens who: have ideas they know could make them money; work really hard on projects that interest them; are not afraid to show others that their idea is a winner; and are good at getting the right friends to help them.
As a member, Franklin will spend an entire weekend building a business and competing against other teens to create a winning idea, build a money making business and prove that they can get customers. Four groups of five teens, who were nominated by teachers and selected from video essays they created about why they entered, will compete.
Chen’Yere has a broad base of activities to help develop her into a well-rounded person. She is a member of King High School’s band member, Honor Society, the Speech and Debate team, and a member of the rifle spinning Exhibition Drill Team. She has logged over 120 hours since summer 2013 as a volunteer for Feeding America.
Franklin said she had heard about CMG because it is really big at her middle school, Academy Prep Center of Tampa. However, she didn’t know what it was about until her mother encouraged her to take a look at it. She is so glad she did. Chen’Yere said CMG is great to have on your college application. Beyond that she loves the interaction with real people given the current social media trends. In addition to learning valuable skills she said, “CMG is fun. It’s nice getting together with kids with similar interests. “
Cheryl Franklin, Chen’Yere’s mother, is delighted with the leadership and social skills her daughter is developing. She has nothing but high praise for the constructive and safe environment CMG provides.
Chen’Yere plans to attend college and pursue a career in psychology, speech therapy, or criminal psychology.
HOW YOU CAN HELP?
As 2014 begins, we have one more year of our Civic Justice Corps grant through the U.S. Department of Labor (CJC). As you’ll recall, the CJC grant provides young adult former juvenile offenders with job training, GED prep, stipends, and scholarships to attend institutions of higher education. The program was successful in 2013, providing training for 79 young adults. Of them 30% earned their GED and or an industry standard computer certification and 33% of them have became gainfully employed. Additionally through a restorative justice model, the young adults are also providing a benefit to the community. This includes providing computer training and computers for residence of the Salvation Army, clients of The Centre (formerly known as the Center for Women), and Community Stepping Stones.
But despite our best efforts, we realize that we cannot be 100% successfully in meeting the goals of this grant without the help of the community, especially in meeting our recruitment goal. So, we are seeking your help. We know that you may have nieces, nephews, granddaughters, grandsons, mentees, church members, and or neighbors that are young adults that will fit the target criteria and need an opportunity like this to complete their transition into adulthood. Please share this information with them, or their parents, and encourage them to contact us for information on enrolling.
With you help, we can ALL create a better community.
Criteria to enroll:
Between the ages of 18 and 21
Have a juvenile arrest record
Have no adult crime convictions
Benefits and program characteristics
Stipend of up to $375 bi-weekly
Assistance in obtaining a GED (if needed)
Assistance in obtaining industry standard computer certification
Assistance in obtaining employment
Assistance in obtaining a career
Meets 5 days per week
To enroll, please call our enrollment line at 813-990-0206