Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

Back to Listing

June 30, 2016

Men and Women Together for One Common Goal

By Stephanie Straka

spring classLast week, the Creating IT Futures Foundation yet graduated another IT-Ready class, this time consisting of 20 individuals who are ready to start their IT careers. Even better, by the time of graduation, 11 out of the 20 students had passed their CompTIA A+ exam with the remaining students set to test over the next week.

“When I think of this class, I think of firsts,” said Kathy Brennan, manager of IT-Ready Minneapolis / St. Paul. “You were the first class to take the new CompTIA A+ 900-series exams and you were the first class to have the same amount of males as there were females.”

“Some of you in the beginning said, ‘I can’t believe this is free or this must be hoax,’” said Creating IT Futures Foundation board chair, James Afdahl. Afdahl is also the vice-president and CFO for GED Testing Service, an employer partner that employs IT-Ready alumni. “Now, there are 20 of you ready to go out and tell others about the great opportunity here.”

IT-Ready is a free, eight-week course offered by the IT charity, the Creating IT Futures Foundation. To qualify, a person must be unemployed or under-employed. The program also looks for individuals from under-represented groups in information technology, such as women, African Americans, and Hispanics.

“As you stand on the brink of moving into life beyond IT-Ready, change will be inevitable,” said Nikki Frederick, IT-Ready instructor from A Critical Path, as she spoke about the path and decisions the graduates will make during their IT endeavors. “You have the right to be the best that you can be.”

At the end of the eight-week education program, students take the CompTIA A+ certification exam. Afterward, they can qualify for a six-month paid apprenticeship with a local participating company, usually in the role of help-desk or technical support. These internships usually lead to permanent, full-time employment

“In some ways, this means more to me than my college degree,” said student Jason Hernandez. “Every time I felt distracted, I thought of the 300 [applicants] who are not here who wish they had this opportunity.”

Many of the graduates relied on moral support from their classmates to get through the rigorous eight-week program.

“It is difficult to come to the decision that your life needs a change and to work hard to make that change,” said graduate Thomas Montgomery. “We all accomplished this and we are going to move forward and be successful.”

Stephanie Straka is a social media intern at the Creating IT Futures Foundation.