Earlier this month, I went to SPNN (St Paul Neighborhood Network) to hear “what I did with my summer” presentations from current techie AmeriCorps members stationed in the Twin Cities and working through SPNN”s CTEP program. It is one of my favorite work events of the year. I wish I could bottle and hope and enthusiasm in the room.
It does a mind and body good to see how the AmeriCorps youth (20 somethings) are using technology to help communities in distressed areas – often projects that include younger kids (lots of middle school). Each group takes on a project. (You can see a full list.) They plan every aspect of it – from what the program will be to finding partners and funding to deploying the project. We heard about the ups and downs of each project. Some very quick top level highlights:
- They created a Digital Homeroom to help with digital literacy classes.
- FabFem is a great directory of women STEM speakers. http://www.fabfems.org
- Libraries have Friend groups that will help you raise money (for library projects).
- Keep programs simple.
- Recognize whether you want drop in attendance or need consistency to make program work.
- Go to where the people are.
Here’s a video on one program:
It turns out that CTEP is looking for new members. I’m going to include a letter from the Director below. It’s a fun opportunity for the right person. It might be difficult to replicate the project in a smaller community but I think there are some ideas to be gleaned – and I suspect the CTEP folks would be willing to share info.
My name is Joel Krogstad, and I am Director of the Community Technology Empowerment Project. AmeriCorps CTEP Members are placed with one of twenty different partner organizations in the Twin Cities; most are non-profits that have community technology centers serving low income and new immigrant youth and adults. CTEP members teach technology skills for social, civic and economic empowerment. These skills teaching include basic computer skills, and could involve more advanced skills such as website and media production.
For more information on our program, please visit: http://spnn.org/ctep
All of our positions begin on Sept 5, 2017 and finish toward the end of August 2018. To see the organizations where you could be placed, go to: http://spnn.org/ctep/position-descriptions
The positions will be filled on a first come first serve basis, so it is in your best interest to apply as soon as possible to assure that you are matched with the organization that best aligns with your interests.
Benefits of the full-time positions include around $1000 monthly in living allowance, health and dental insurance including reimbursement of your deductible, child care depending on eligibility, and upon completion of your year an Education Award of $5775 that can be used to pay off past school loans or future education-related expenses up to seven years in the future.
You would also need to be available on the first and third Fridays of every month to participate in our AmeriCorps professional development trainings with other AmeriCorps members. This can be a conflict for some individuals who have university classes on Friday or another job that isn’t so flexible, hopefully this won’t be a problem for you.
If you feel ready, apply online at https://my.americorps.gov and click on “apply to serve.” Search for “Community Technology Empowerment Project” when asked where to send the application. You will see other site-specific CTEP listings, at this point it doesn’t matter which or how many listings you apply for. All CTEP-related applications go to the same place, and specific sites will be agreed upon after the first interview.
Two interviews are required for consideration. The first interview is with Joel Krogstad, CTEP Program Director. Then, you will have the opportunity to choose up to three service sites where you would have a second interview with your the site supervisor, who would be your day-to-day supervisor. We feel this placement process finds the best match between your skills and interests, and the needs of our service sites and communities.
Please contact me, Joel Krogstad, at 651 298 8918 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the positions. AmeriCorps can be a powerful experience; we hope that you would find it extraordinarily rewarding.
We hope you apply!