It was a big day around MEDA’s bustling Mission neighborhood center, Plaza Adelante, on Friday, April 11th. During the past three months, the first class of Mission Techies has been learning varied computer skills to launch them on their upward journey to a successful career. MEDA sees this as a way to bridge the growing digital divide in the Mission District . . . and beyond.
The Mission Techies program is a free, 12-week workshop open to San Francisco residents from ages 18-24. During the intensive training, eager participants learn all about computers, hardware and components, plus how to provide tech support. MEDA is about solutions: the nonprofit sees this program as a vital entry point for low- and moderate-income young adults to have access to the Bay Area’s booming tech sector.
“I learned so much about computers and tech support skills that I feel ready to enter the job market,” states Edwin, one of the proud Mission Techie graduates.
The students gave back to the community by removing spyware and viruses on computers of financially challenged Mission District residents. Old operating systems were even updated for 30 low-income Latino families. Leo Sosa, MEDA’s Technology Training Coordinator, explains, “This ‘social enterprise model’ is needed in the Mission District for low-income families that cannot afford high tech support services. It is great that our students can give back to the community.”
A bonus: graduates of the program received a $500 stipend, complemented by ongoing placement and retention services.
All seven elated graduates were also awarded a Certificate of Honor from the city’s Board of Supervisors, including Guatemalan-born District Nine Supervisor David Campos, who represents Mission District San Francisco.
Explains MEDA’s Policy Manger, Gabriel Medina, “The entire Board of Supervisors is looking for solutions every day to connect our City’s youth to the booming technology sector, with Supervisor Campos leading the way. The Mission Techies are the first and most difficult step of that solution. That’s why the Board unanimously recognized the Mission Techies for breaking into a career that will help them and their families continue to call San Francisco their permanent home.”
Interested in FREE services at MEDA? From computers and financial capability to workforce development and tax preparation to homeownership and business development, you’re sure to find something of interest.