The Urban Technology Project, a collaborative initiative between the School District of Philadelphia and Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc. is designed to empower Philadelphia youth and their communities through meaningful technology experiences that link youth leadership development, education, and community building. The Urban Technology Project is comprised of the Digital Service Fellows AmeriCorps Program, the Computer Support Specialists Information Technology (IT) Apprenticeship Program and the Digital Miracles Project.
Digital Service Fellows (DSF) AmeriCorps Program
The Digital Service Fellows (DSF) is an award-winning AmeriCorps program for recent Philadelphia high school graduates who are interested in various aspects of information technology, from computer repair to graphic design. Each fellow trains directly with a school district IT professional, either a master technician or digital media specialist, for a full year. This apprenticeship model is a win-win for fellows, mentors and schools. DSFs learn the ins and outs of the IT field, receive industry standard certifications, a stipend and a $5,300 education award upon completion, while mentors receive daily assistance in supporting the technology infrastructure of the school district. DSFs also lead and support in-school and after-school technology clubs as well as technology trainings for students, teachers and parents. The most outstanding DSFs are graduated into the Computer Support Specialist Program, expanding their information technology career pathway.
IT Apprenticeship Program
The IT apprenticeship program, a Pennsylvania Department of Labor Registered Information Technology Apprenticeship Program, is a collaborative effort of the School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Information Technology and Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc. This partnership provides its participants with a pathway that will lead to employment in the IT field or prepare them for a two- or four-year degree. The IT Apprenticeship Program provides support to over 38 schools and offices.
The IT Apprenticeship Program extends the Urban Technology Project career pathway. They are primarily recruited from the pool of qualified DSF alumni and graduates of school district technology programs.
Digital Miracles Project
The Digital Miracles Project provides an opportunity for middle school and high school students to develop advanced technology skills. The Digital Miracles curriculum exposes participants to technology by taking apart and rebuilding a donated computer, performing operating system and application software installations, and developing basic, hands-on troubleshooting skills. The participants also enhance their knowledge of productivity applications. Through service-learning activities, students also pass on what they have learned to their families and communities.
For more information visit utp-philly.org or contact:
Deputy Chief of Workforce and School Support Services
Supervisor for AmeriCorp Digital Service Fellows program