Computer CORE’s Spring2ACTion Drive Focuses on Student Internship Program
April 27, 2021
Invest In Your Local Workforce!
Computer CORE’s New Internship Program Is An Investment In Your Community
CORE’s mission is to prepare under-served adults in Virginia to realize career aspirations with foundational digital literacy and professional skills. CORE volunteers have always been our strength! CORE’s small staff of 3.5 is augmented by over 50 volunteer instructors. Adding a formal internship program allows CORE to further stretch your donations to serve additional students and provide valuable work experience to job-seeking Alexandrians!
You can make a significant difference in the lives Computer CORE’s adult students by helping us inaugurate our formal internship program.
First Steps Toward Building An Internship Program
As part of CORE’s COVID response and with funding from ACT for Alexandria’s Resilience Fund, CORE trained a first group of eight students and graduates to run a helpline assisting Alexandria parents to access computers and internet services offered by ACPS in September 2020. Since then, these student interns—some paid and some preferring to volunteer—have continued to help CORE with a variety of tasks, learning real-life, on-the-job skills. Having gained so much training experience, one of our interns has even been invited to join our permanent staff!
Stretching Your Donation Dollars
Workforce partnerships have allowed us to further stretch your donation dollars. Open to expanding our intern pool, CORE has now accepted four new interns who are paid through the Alexandria Workforce Development Center and Virginia Career Works’ Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) program. This arrangement provides Computer CORE with invaluable access to a pool of intern candidates from an even more diverse range of experience levels and backgrounds. Studies show over time that paid internships are integral to increasing career advancement opportunities for underrepresented or disadvantaged populations, so that is CORE’s focus.
Intern Successes Begin…
Computer CORE gives our adult students, like Taiba, a chance to gain valuable work experience while helping other students. After graduating from CORE, while attending community college, Taiba is serving as an intern: registering students, managing Zoom, assisting with coding class practice sessions, and fielding helpdesk calls.
Patience, one of CORE’s first student interns, works virtually making phone calls to students regarding class preferences and availability, answers questions, and helps student access and navigate the Zoom classroom. She credits CORE with her increased confidence using the internet and mastering online applications including AirTable and Office 365.
Nuria began as a CORE helpdesk intern while still a student. As with most of our new students, she was tentative about her technology skills and reserved in class, however when we announced an upcoming internship — Nuria leapt at the opportunity and became the very first to apply! Previously a department store cosmetic counter manager and freelance salesperson, she rapidly picked up skills in QuickBooks Online and Donor Perfect once she began interning at CORE’s office. Through this process, CORE has learned that Nuria is very motivated to gain office skills, accepts responsibility, learns quickly, and speaks five languages! Nuria has been so valuable as a trainee that we hired her in a junior operations role with room to grow. She is now CORE’s part-time Operations Associate, and says that the hands-on experience accelerated her learning process.
Debasis is a retired telecom engineering professional interning through SCSEP who is applying his extensive analytical, project management, and report writing skills to assist CORE as a technical writer for a number of new and ongoing programs. He also researches and advises on training materials, standards and best practices.
Shirley was trained for our Fall 2020 intern initiative helping Alexandria City Public School parents access free computer and internet services. She was particularly willing to assist as liaison to Spanish speaking parents. Shirley’s internship helped her develop online skills as well as enhancing career development and networking capabilities, and she now works for Fairfax County Public Schools as a teacher’s aide.
Aasia took on an executive assistant internship role with CORE to develop skills in that career path. She has learned to mail merge, manage data entry, how to organize and file income and expense records among other tasks, and most notably has completed our 2020 computer inventory review. Still early in her career development, and working towards an Office Assistant Certification, Aasia’s internship at CORE has provided crucial hands-on experience in an office environment where she is involved with administrative duties but also learning agility in troubleshooting, business logistics, and customer service.
Hank is an experienced broadcast, media and television executive producer who is currently working with CORE’s intern program to develop new projects including outreach to African American, Latinx, and veteran communities. Hank has honed skills in Office 365 and increased his cloud computing and virtual outreach capacity. His experience and skills, and ability to pull together resources and people, are all proving invaluable to CORE on a strategic level. And thanks to Hank leading the recent charge, CORE is already experiencing the benefits of increased focus on diversity and inclusion.
Your donations will allow CORE to pay interns, create the program structure, training curriculum, and provide supervision and guidance to our growing intern pool.
For more info contact Executive Director: Donna Walker James, 703-931-7346 #5