DIGITAL ACCESS & JOB READINESS
Digital TechWorks Academy
Phyllis Wheatley’s DigitalTechWorksTM Academy works to close the digital skills training gap for people of color in and around North Minneapolis. Participants in these programs learn skills and earn certifications that prepare them for the jobs and career paths of tomorrow, creating pathways to sustainable, fulfilling careers that provide healthy incomes that allow families to find economic stability and success.
Wheatley eSports Club
The eSports program at Phyllis Wheatley Community Center leverages gaming, a must-have pastime for many young people, to create a learning opportunity and, potentially, a successful career path.
Participants in our eSports program gain a strong aptitude in STEM subjects and intuitive skills for working with with computers, networks, servers, and game design.
The competitive nature of gaming builds character and inspires self-improvement, sportsmanship, teamwork, tactical and strategic thinking, and other skills.
Players and teams practice two to four times per week, and competitions are typically held weekly during the eSports season. Matches can be held remotely, with players competing from their homes; locally, meeting at a school or other facility; or away, requiring travel to another location.
This program is geared toward youth ages 12-19. Xboxes are provided by Phyllis Wheatley for game play at North High School, the new eSports home.
In partnership with the Microsoft Community Skills Program, Digital TechWorks Academy provides free fundamental certification courses in Microsoft Security, Compliance, and Identity, and in Microsoft 365. These courses are available digitally in a self-paced format, and participants have the option of completing the course independently or in a class setting. DTWA covers the cost of certification exams for program participants.
Thanks to the generosity and support of Microsoft Corporation, participants in need of computers have access to new Surface laptops.
Utilizing Northstar Digital Literacy curriculum and assessments, our ABC Skills program will provide basic computer skills to members within the community in need. Almost all employers require at least basic computer skills, so this will benefit people at any point in their career path. Participants will be able to select sessions that best fit their need and skill level, Topics include: Identifying Basic Computer Elements, Internet Basics, Using Email, Windows 10, Mac OS. In addition to those basic skills, we also offer curriculum for Essential Software Skills in MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Our final curricular offering is Using Technology in Daily Life: This includes lessons on Social Media, Career Search Skills, and Supporting K-12 Distance Learning. Each lesson includes completing a pre-and post-assessment. When a high enough score is earned on a post-assessment, participants will be awarded a certificate for that skill. If participants are interested in furthering their tech certifications, we will refer them to our Microsoft Certifications offerings and additional support for low-cost/free academic and community opportunities.
NORTHSTAR BASIC COMPUTING SKILLS
GIRLS WHO CODE™
Girls Who Code™ provides a safe and supportive environment of peers and role models where girls in grades 6-12 learn to see themselves as computer scientists. Girls learn the concepts of loops, variables, conditionals, and functions that form the basis of all programming languages. Participants
work in teams to complete a computer science impact project that solves a real-world problem in our community. The curriculum for this program runs 10 plus weeks, and in addition to providing technical knowledge, also highlights team building and real-life examples of women in tech. This program can be completed in-person or remote.
The ManCode™ Mentoring program is a free, virtual (with in-person possibilities), 12-week program for 12- to 17-year-old Black/African American boys. ManCode™ Mentoring is a collaboration of PWCC, Microsoft and the 100 Black Men of Twin Cities supported by Comcast LiftZone and initially funded by Hennepin County. The program has three pillars:
1) life skills
2) professional development
3) career pathways, with an introduction to computer technology, including coding and gaming.
Check back for the next enrollment period.
Need internet access?
The pandemic has changed the lives of everyone in our community, state, and country. Many have been forced to leave jobs to take care of kids and to be at home to watch over young distance learners. And though there has been overwhelming hardship, the last two years have also thrown light on problems that already existed, but received little attention.
When access to computers and internet became essential due to distance learning and transitioning to at-home work, it quickly became clear that there was a gap that needed to be filled. The Affordable Connectivity Program was created to help ensure every school-aged kid was able to attend their classes virtually - and that assistance is still available to you!
If your family needs affordable internet access or a computer, check out the information below, and go to internetessentials.com to sign up. You may qualify for home internet at no cost!
Phyllis Wheatley is a Comcast Launch Pad site, where anyone can come and get access to our publicly available network.