Partner with Communities to Teach Tech Skills

The program description below goes in-depth, though the why is fairly simple:

Due to lack of access I have become estranged from my own child; I don't want this to happen to others.

So by providing tools and programming I hope to provide pathways to economic stability for young parents, adults, and youth, in under-served communities. And by partnering with organizations in their communities, I seek to make it sustainable.

Now for the how:

ScreamFreely  is a non-profit organization I first registered in 2008 to be the foundation for an idea that would accomplish the following:

1) Provide safe and easy access to government events and information

2) Teach people how to code

Just this year I applied for and received 501c3 status.

All of our finances are open to the public , along with our code .

ScreamFreely
An entry point for civic engagement and technology.
 
Our flagship application can be experienced at https://www.mnactivist.org .

And it’s application is available for Android on the Google Play Store .

While we are registered with Apple, due to financial constraints and their updated two-factor verification requirements, we do not currently have the application available for iPhones.

The videos included are both an example of my teaching style, and the primary drivers of conversation for the program. The core of the curriculum can be viewed on Github at https://github.com/ScreamFreely/SFCodingClass 

The 20-hour per week schedule will be maintained by instructor and students alike. The time will be composed of lectures, directed and open lab, as well as class time of their own. 

Six-Month Test Run
I am seeking to initiate a six-month secondary pilot project starting in January to teach four young adults to code.

By partnering with at least two non-profits in Minnesota to locate four students from under-represented communities - we can transform students into trainers with confidence and sense of expertise. These trainers can then manage the instruction of community coding classes throughout the summer, with our support. 

And also begin preparing their replacements, while looking for jobs themselves.

Though to begin, we  hire these students for six months to learn how MnActivist.Org was developed, and is being maintained.

Students are paid $15/hour for 20 hours per week learning HTML, CSS, JavaScript (JQuery, Vue/React), PostgreSQL, Linux SysAdmin/CLI, Git, and other various tech skills. Student pay is increased part-way through the program, as we begin providing community coding classes, and Students transition to Trainers.

These new Trainers exit the program as experienced trainers with a personal website, a custom resume created in LaTeX, documented experience and community support — creating  opportunities already lined-up before their hand touches the door.


All of our code is built using Free and Open Source Software with broad market-demand. And part of our desire is to provide students with the knowledge base and confidence to begin developing their own network within these communities.

During the program I will reach out to existing members of the tech community to compliment our own work together, and through this our students will hopefully be able to secure jobs before the program concludes.

Through a Discord server, and other platforms, we will provide opportunities for collaboration and interaction between our organization and communities at large.

$50,000 Needed
Each employee/student will cost approximately $1,600 per month

4 students x 6 months = $40,000

I myself as the instructor will be paid $1,000 / month = $6,000

The remaining $4,000 will be kept in reserves to help us grow our program and manage incidentals such as server, domain costs and necessary professional services.

All of the classes will be taught remotely, and because I am living outside of the United States, my personal cost of living is greatly reduced, thus reducing our overall burn rate; while maximizing my availability for our students.


Additionally, we are a 501c3 non-profit and so any donations are tax-deductible. Some of our excess funds will be used to help us handle our taxes for this year, as it is not an expertise I am comfortable handling alone. Additionally, we are rounding the cost of each student, a specific breakdown will be made available in the updates below.

Program Expansion
We do have domains for 9 other states, and would look forward to being able to expand this program to each respectively.

California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

The original idea was to partner with organizations to train in-house tech specialists able to facilitate community coding classes within each organization, and so expand the number of students reached through our applications and partnerships.

Lessons Learned
Last Spring we had an opportunity to carry out a pilot project teaching high school in at an urban public high school. One our primary obstacles was an inability to connect with students virtually one-on-one. This was due to technical constraints of working with a large public high school. Students were unable to access Slack, or other means of individualized video-conferencing technology.


In an effort to remedy this, I am now seeking to connect with individuals through organizations that are not bound by such constraints.

Additionally we have since formed a partnership TechDiscounts.Org , and are able to provide laptops to our students through them, to assure our students have the solid equipment with which to do the work. These computers would be purchased for our students to keep, and would not be loaners they would need to return.

Learn more about me through my website  or by joining the community on Discord .

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Organizer

Canin Carlos Apriori-Mendoza 
Organizer
Long Lake, MN
ScreamFreely 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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