Giovanni Sturgis

Jolanda Porter

Kay Allen

Alnika Douglas

Grace Davis

Tamara Allen

Per Scholas Hosts In-Person Networking Events

In very exciting news, this month marked the return of Per Scholas’ in-person networking events, which have been held remotely for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our first two events were held in Atlanta and Dallas and created learning opportunities for Per Scholas alumni and an opportunity for them to meet and network with funders, employer partners, and industry experts.

The Atlanta event, Per Scholas Atlanta Homecoming: Level Up, was held on June 2nd, at the Marquis Conference Center and Patio in Atlanta, Georgia. Current learners and Per Scholas alumni had the opportunity to network and connect with fellow Per Scholas graduates, meet our wonderful new Atlanta team and Advisory Board members, and gain insight from Per Scholas staff and special guest industry experts on ways to bring their careers to the next level. 

“The Atlanta Homecoming Event was meant to introduce the Atlanta Alumni to the new staff and to welcome alumni who took remote classes to their home campus,” Sherri Sims, the Managing Director of Per Scholas Atlanta explained. “Our goal was to meet the alumni and offer our support in ‘Leveling Up’ their careers. We offered a networking session and two panel discussions…Overall the event was a huge success and several alumni have received interviews and job offers as a result.” 

In the first panel discussion, attendees learned about great ways to improve their resumes and LinkedIn profiles in a presentation by Per Scholas Atlanta Business Solutions Director Teri Gittens, and Senior Manager of Career Advancement, Stephanie Spencer. Kelly Raper, a Talent Acquisition Partner from Sage Software was a special guest speaker, who provided some additional tips and insight to the eager audience.

In the second panel discussion, attendees were taught some tips on moving to the next level of their careers by Per Scholas Advisory Board Member Nicole D. Smith, from the Harvard Business Review, and Sherri Sims. Special guest speakers for this portion included Prabhu Sadasivam, the Senior Director of Software Engineering, Insurance Technology, at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, and Danielle Joiner McPherson, the Director of Global Reservations, Tech and Innovation at Delta Airlines.


Finally, attendees learned about networking best practices, ways to upskill in the tech field, and a wealth of alumni resources available to Per Scholas graduates. The event concluded with a Q&A session, a networking mixer, and an opportunity to have a professional headshot taken.

Our Dallas event, Per Scholas Dallas Leadership Connection – Stronger Together, was held on June 9th at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in O’Hara Hall in Dallas, Texas. The event offered an inspiring afternoon of exploring the impact Per Scholas Dallas has on the lives of our learners and the workforce community, as well as insight on how individuals and organizations can get more involved with our work. Per Scholas Dallas graduates from 2020 forward were welcome to attend the event, and attendees had ample opportunity to network and connect with corporate and community partners, meet our passionate Dallas team, and hear from our successful Per Scholas graduates.

The event began with welcome remarks and an icebreaker by Per Scholas Dallas Director of Employer Partnership, Monique-Saré Jenkins. Attendees learned some key highlights about Per Scholas Dallas from Dallas Manager of Career Advancement Jason Cancino, Senior Manager of Recruiting and Admissions Ciara Owens, and Manager of Financial Capability Janell Pollard.

Per Scholas networking event

Next, attendees heard from Adedeji Adefuye, a 2020 Per Scholas Dallas IT Support alumni, who now works for Per Scholas as an Instructional Assistant. Adedeji’s story is one of inspiring success, and an excellent example of the ways in which a high-quality, cost-free tech education can change lives. Attendees then heard about “Funding the Mission,” from special guest speaker, Jay McCall, a Program Manager at the Rainwater Charitable Foundation, a private family foundation based in Fort Worth, Texas, that is dedicated to funding initiatives centered around education, and the ways in which it can change lives and communities. Finally, attendees learned about “Partnering With the Mission” from Stephanie Kline, the VP of Client Services at YUPRO, and Tirrany Nettles, YUPRO’s Director of Recruiting. YUPRO is an opportunity talent placement firm dedicated to creating diverse, inclusive workplaces.

Monique-Saré Jenkins concluded the event with a call-to-action for alumni, funders, and employer partners to get involved with making Per Scholas a success and changing the face of the technology industry.

“The Leadership Connection event was phenomenal,” Monique-Saré reflected afterward. “After two years of being apart, we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to reestablish our footprint within the local community by inviting some of our alumni, funders, corporate partners, and other community leaders to build meaningful connections over lunch.”

We look forward to continuing to hold more in-person events as the year progresses and providing exciting and enriching opportunities to our learners, alumni, funders, and partners.

Samantha Hernandez

Teri E. Gittens

Per Scholas Welcomes New Regional Advisory Board Members

Per Scholas Welcomes New Regional Advisory Board Members

Leaders from Technology, Professional Services, E-Commerce, 

Contribute to Transform America’s Tech Workforce


BRONX, N.Y. (February 23, 2021) – Today, leading national tech training nonprofit advancing economic equity Per Scholas welcomed nine new Advisory Board Members in three cities across the U.S. New Advisory Board Members include:

Atlanta, Georgia

  • Winford Williams, AVP Technology, Insurance, LexisNexis Risk Solutions

“I’m delighted to welcome Winford to our Per Scholas Atlanta Advisory Board. He joins a passionate and committed group of leaders working diligently to increase opportunity for future technologists right here at home,” said Sherri Sims, Per Scholas Atlanta Managing Director. 

Atlanta Advisory Board Graphic with man in center

National Capital Region

  • Abenaa Addei, Account Director, Google
  • Keith Barclay, Worldwide IGF Ecosystems Operation Leader, IBM
  • Marialina Bello, Managing Architect, Microsoft
  • Felicia Jones, Program Director, designDATA
  • Heidi Richards, Managing Director, EY

NCR Advisory Board Members NCR Advisory Board

Per Scholas National Capital Region Managing Director Diane Duff reflected, “Greater Washington, which stretches across Washington, D.C. and outward to suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia – continues to be recognized as one of the most prominent tech hubs on the East Coast, and it’s still growing. I’m very grateful to Abenaa, Keith, Lina, Felicia, and Heidi for contributing their time and talent to support Per Scholas’s mission to increase access and opportunity for technologists across our region.” 

New York, New York

  • Erez Barkai, Director of Engineering, Wayfair
  • George Okrah, Senior Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Lazard
  • Silva Stewart, Digital Strategy Consultant, Accenture

New York Advisory Board

“Our New York Advisory Board Members play a crucial role in supporting our strategy and growth in New York City,” said Abe Mendez, Per Scholas New York Managing Director. “I’m excited to welcome Erez, George, and Silva to the Per Scholas’s New York Advisory Board and thank them for their commitment to strengthen and diversify the tech sector.” 

To learn more about Per Scholas’s work, our National Board, and regional Advisory Boards, visit

About Per Scholas

Per Scholas is a national organization that has been advancing economic mobility for 25 years. Through rigorous training, professional development, and robust employer connections, we prepare individuals traditionally underrepresented in technology for high-growth careers in the industry. We partner with leading employers to build more diverse talent pools, directly connecting our graduates to new career opportunities at businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups. With campuses in 17 cities, Per Scholas has trained more than 15,000 individuals in tech skills, building bridges to careers in technology. To learn more, visit

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