In this day and age knowledge of technology is a necessity to succeed in school and the career world.
That’s why the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, acting on valuable input from Durham’s Walltown community, first introduced the Digital Connectors program to the neighborhood in 2009. The afterschool program, developed by the non-profit One Economy, was meant to teach Walltown youth technology, social and leadership skills.
This year Digital Connectors has expanded in Walltown, to provide neighborhood students their very first summer session.
Organized and led by Alvin Black, recent graduate of N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University who grew up in the Walltown neighborhood, the 2011 Walltown Digital Connectors program is serving 15 students ages 14 to 18.
Monday through Thursday of each week students gather in the computer lab of the Walltown Community Center to learn and discuss how technology can be used for campus tours and for applying to colleges and universities, job shadowing experiences, and career opportunities.
“Children are 100 percent of the future,” Black said. “I’m trying to empower them to make them feel like they can do anything.”
Black said he believes young people should have access to different programs and opportunities that keep them motivated to succeed and out of trouble.
“This is especially special to me because I grew up over there, we didn’t have resources,” Black said. “So to be the one to facilitate the program is wonderful.”
Over the course of the program, students will gain knowledge that helps them in school and prepares them for employment. And because community service is a major requirement for Digital Connectors, students will gain the pride of knowing they have made a difference in their community.
Students also receive the chance to connect with other students nationwide through a private Connectors Club social network, a social networking and information portal that shares scholarship, job and life skills content.
Students will conclude the program with a finale celebration where they will be awarded a $500 stipend, laptop, and flip camera provided by federal stimulus funds.