MTTC Program Helps Train Teens for
Community Service, Careers in Technology
This article appears in the Nov. 21, 2002 Issue of Louisville
22, 2002--Give a teenager a computer, and he will play computer games. Give a
teenager computer repair training and she will be empowered to choose a career in
computer technology and give back to her community for a lifetime.
On Monday, October 21, eight teens, ages 13-17, received
certificates from the McConnell Technology & Training Center (MTTC) and the Shawnee
Gardens Tenants Association (SGTA) lauding their successful completion of computer
"I Built It! The MTTC PC Workshop for Teens" is a sixteen-hour
class held on two consecutive Saturdays. It teaches young people how to
troubleshoot and perform basic PC repairs
upgrade PC components
install a Windows operating system
configure the operating system
partition ans set up the hard disk
use diagnostic software
replace hardware components
Teens from 13-17 learn to install a Windows operating
system on computers they assembled themselves during the first day of computer repair
As part of the class. the eight teens at Shawnee Gardens
each took apart and completely rebuilt a PC from scratch. Andthe best part, according
to 16-year old Monet Duke, a student at Shawnee High School: "At the the end of the
class, we each got to take our computer home. And now I know what I'm doing with computers.
The teen class was sponsored through a grant from the
Governor's Office of Technology (GOT), and is just one part of the overall "Bridging
the Digital Divide" grant award to the SGTA and MTTC. The GOT Digital Divide grant
has allowed MTTC and SGTA to establish a self-sustaining computer repair business
at the Shawnee Gardens Apartments, with computer repair services provided by community
residents who have been trained through MTTC's computer repair career training program.
Troubleshooting and changing display colors on computer
monitors is just one skill participants in the MTTC PC Workshop for Teens cover during
their sixteen hours of training.
Cheryl Hammock, program administrator for SGTA, explained
"The grand from the Governor's Office of Technology empowered us to begin a computer
repair business at Shawnee Gardens. But we needed a foundation for the program, a
way to give computer repair training to people, so our partnership with MTTC was a
perfect fit. The grant allows us to train groups of people, including youth, so that
they have the foundation to build this computer repair business from the ground up."
The eight students who participated in the "I Built It!"
class will each perform ten hours of volunteer service in the computer repair facility
at Shawnee Gardens in exchange for their scholarships.
"I Built It" The MTTC PC Workshop for Teens" Participants
Proudly hold their Certificates at the Shawnee Gardens Tenants Association Awards
Ceremony. From left: Walter Smith, (represented by his father, Walter Smith, Jr.),
Jo'Nikia Brown, Tonnea Green, Remy Hammick, Monet Duke, Jacinta Scruggs, Steven Freeman,
and Sherri Craig.
Clifford H Turner, President of Land Development Services,
Inc. , developer of Shawnee Gardens Apartments, explained how the collaboration between
SGTA and MTTC began. "In the beginning, we worked with MTTC and State Representative
Paul Bather to win a grant from GOT. We
wanted to empower ourselves through this program, to enable us to empower others."
Mr. Turner was clear that the grant was not a “hand-out” for Shawnee Gardens residents.
“We’re not looking for fish. We are looking to be able to learn to fish.”
Later next year, the resident and teen-run Shawnee Gardens Computer Repair Business
will work with the Stephen Foster Senior Living Plus facility (located in the 90-year
old former Stephen Foster Elementary School building) to help teach low-income elderly
residents how to use computers. Shawnee Gardens Computer Repair Business will also
assist with part of the installation and wiring that will be included in each of the
apartments for the elderly to enable them to connect to the Internet
“This has just been a phenomenal program,” exclaimed MTTC Program Manager Peggy Meyer.
“These kids have really done well in their classes, and I can’t tell you how proud
I am of them, and their parents for helping to make this program a reality.”