Teah spent eight months as part of a team known as the TechnoSaviors. In May, Teah and her team completed Ready, Set, Connect! (RSC!), a professional development program designed to help Oakland youth between 16 and 24 years old discover the professional skills necessary for technology-focused careers. They were assigned to the Oakland Public Library’s Main Branch. Here is how she sums up her experience.
I joined RSC! my junior year of high school. When I joined, I expected to have a boring library job, but I have gained much more than community service hours. I’ve gained leadership skills, marketing, and resume building, and I have even visited a few of the top tech companies. Tutoring at the main library has changed my life, and I am happy that I was able to help. Hopefully this site will help as well.
Community Tech Network and the Oakland Public Library partnered to create RSC! The program ran from October 2014 through May 2015, and participants worked as teams. Each team was assigned to a different branch library, where they helped patrons and worked on a team project.
Steven Yee, who represented Community Tech Network’s Board of Directors at the program’s final event on May 21, had this to say.
The Ready, Set, Connect! program reflects the power of collaboration. Community Tech Network, the Oakland Public Library, local tech companies, foundations, and other funders have all joined together to create and run this innovative partnership. It is also a collaborative learning experience. Tech-savvy youth participating in the program work closely with branch librarians to meet the needs of library patrons.
The students’ final presentations were absolutely amazing! They really tuned in with the needs and experiences of patrons — whether building tech and communications solutions to address people’s needs or simply listening and patiently understanding each patron’s perspectives, each person’s stories.
We would like thank both Andrea Guzmán, who spent the past year as RSC’s Program Manager, and Lana L. Adlawan from the Oakland Public Library. Thanks also go to the Junior League of San Francisco for stepping forward to fund the completion bonus — new laptops — that participants received for successfully completing their final projects and to the WKF Fund for its longtime and generous support of the program.