Stephen Hale

Michael Jordan

Rixio Barrios

Noses On! Per Scholas Among 2022 Red Nose Day Grantee Partners

Per Scholas is honored to be among this year’s Red Nose Day grantee partners through a matching grant partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal! In its eighth year, Red Nose Day is a beloved fundraising event by Comic Relief US to help end the cycle of child poverty and ensure a healthy, empowered future for all children and youth. Per Scholas helps change trajectories by preparing our learners, many of whom are youth or have children, to launch life-changing careers in technology by participating in our rigorous, cost-free tech skills training. 

Red Nose Day logo

As we train our learners to start a career in tech through IT support, cybersecurity, software engineering, and more, we prepare individuals to have a well-rounded skill set that creates economic equity and financial stability for their families. 

Per Scholas Chicago Graduate Veronica Vergara applied to Per Scholas to create her own path of opportunity that was flexible so she could be available for her daughter, if needed. Veronica’s daughter suffered from serious health problems previously, so she quit work to focus on her daughter’s health. A year and a half later, Veronica’s daughter’s condition had greatly improved, and Veronica began preparing to rejoin the workforce. Her husband worked in IT and she admired many features of his job, including its flexibility and good pay, which is why she applied to Per Scholas to launch her IT career.

Another example of how Per Scholas’s cost-free tech training has enhanced our learners’ lives and the lives of their children is through Sadaf Haroon, a Per Scholas Dallas Software Engineering graduate. Sadaf, an immigrant mother of three, was at first intimidated to resume a career in the thriving field of tech. “Per Scholas made it easier for me to learn and now I am an earning member of my family. What can be greater than that?” 

In the two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, more children have faced hunger, homelessness, and a growing learning gap, making those programs, funded by Red Nose Day, more crucial than ever. 

This Red Nose Day marks a return to the tradition of coming together in person to have fun, raise money, and change lives. The annual campaign’s signature Red Nose, the universal symbol for Red Nose Day, will be back and available exclusively at nearly 9,000 Walgreens and Duane Reade locations nationwide for just $1 each, with 100% of all proceeds benefiting Red Nose Day. Customers may also donate in stores via pin-pad at checkout, as well as online to receive a Digital Red Nose filter, and can show support donning a real Red Nose or virtual one!

Tune in on May 26th to NBC, which is supporting the Red Nose Day campaign across the network and through cross-portfolio programming features.

 

Per Scholas Graduates Over 250 Learners in 2022

It has already been a busy year of graduations at Per Scholas, with multiple graduations from IT Support, AWS re/Start, Cybersecurity, and Software Engineering courses coming to a close and many more coming up. As we look to train 4,000 learners in 2022, we are well on our way with astonishing numbers from our skilled and qualified graduates. So far, Per Scholas has graduated more than 250 learners, with over 150 graduates acquiring tech certifications.  

“The tenacity and commitment of Per Scholas learners is inspiring, and I’m thrilled for our graduates as they embark on transformational tech careers,” said Jasmine Miller, who was recently promoted to Per Scholas’s Chief Training Officer. 

Notably, our remote training cohorts had learners from New York, Cincinnati, Denver, Greater Boston, and the National Capital Region successfully graduate from our AWS re/Start course. Chubb Executive Vice President and Digital Transformation Officer Julie Dillman joined as graduation speaker.  This graduating cohort hosted over 70 graduates with an average certification rate of over 94%!  

Per Scholas graduates in Zoom background grid

Additionally, we graduated our first two cohorts as part of our satellite partnership.  With over 30 graduates from our innovative satellite training program, we are well on our way to training  1,000 New Yorkers this year.  In this partnership, Per Scholas is teaming up with Commonpoint Queens and with the JCC of Staten Island as Satellite partners in order to offer these trainings in Queens and Staten Island respectively. Commonpoint Queens hosted the course at its Elmhurst Employment Hub and JCC of Staten Island at its Bernikow Headquarters.  

In another Remote Training graduation, with learners from our National Capital Region, Denver, New York, Boston, Cincinnati, and North Carolina campuses, over 100 graduates completed their IT Support training to launch their thriving tech careers. Eugene Jones, Director of ITS at Comcast, spoke as a keynote speaker, encouraging graduates to always keep learning – in tech and in life. 

With support from our funders, brilliant and empowering Instructors, and a strong Learner Support Team, our learners are sure to excel in their next endeavors as they launch their IT careers.  We are eager to see how the year continues on with such a successful start as we connect individuals who have a passion for technology with thriving technology careers. 

 

Daniel Ponciano

Per Scholas and Microsoft Collaborate to Expand Cloud Training Across the U.S.

The new collaboration will help prepare 1,500 diverse learners for high-demand tech careers

New York, N.Y. (February 10, 2022) – Today, national skills training nonprofit Per Scholas announced it will collaborate with Microsoft to expand training opportunities for diverse learners across the U.S. The organizations will provide free technology training, resources, and guidance to 1,500 individuals – in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and other cities – with the goal of helping participants fully prepare for in-demand jobs in cloud computing.

As businesses across the country look to build their digital presence and keep up with changing market needs, the demand for skilled cloud computing professionals continues to rise. New reports suggest that 90 percent of enterprises expect cloud usage to exceed prior plans due to COVID-19, with 92 percent of enterprises now utilizing a multi-cloud strategy. To keep up with these demands, Per Scholas will develop and pilot a new Microsoft Azure training curriculum that provides learners – particularly women and BIPOC individuals who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID – with the opportunity to learn high-demand cloud skills free of charge, leveling the playing field for workers across the country.

“Per Scholas has always understood the value of training individuals for high-growth careers, and our work would not be possible without the support of incredible organizations like Microsoft,” said Caitlyn Brazill, Chief Development Officer at Per Scholas. “Through Microsoft’s skills initiative, we’ll have the opportunity to unlock even more opportunities for individuals who deserve the opportunity to move into life-changing careers, while also supporting employers who are in dire need of qualified cloud talent.”

As part of the collaboration, Per Scholas aims to achieve an 80 percent job attainment rate for its graduates, in part through access to Microsoft’s Career Connector platform, which matches employers in need of tech workers with capable graduate talent, as well as utilizing Per Scholas’s career services and hiring network. Nationally, four in five Per Scholas graduates launch their tech careers within 12 months of graduation, earning on average four times their pre-training wages.

“Per Scholas is holistic, from business development to the Learner Support Team – the team that supports your finances, job coaching, interviewing, all of it. Per Scholas is a one-stop-shop for somebody who wants to make a change,” said Tricia Erby, a 2021 Per Scholas graduate from Atlanta, who is now working as an associate customer service analyst at Sage Software.

“Per Scholas is incredibly proud to expand our work with Microsoft to develop an inclusive, resourceful, and job-ready workforce across U.S. cities, including right here in Atlanta,” said Sherri Sims, Managing Director of Per Scholas Atlanta. “We’ve already witnessed the strong impact that Per Scholas’s training program had in Seattle with our inaugural cohort this summer, and we’re looking forward to continuing this work by empowering diverse learners nationally with life-changing education that will move them into high-growth careers.”

“We need to expand career and economic advancement opportunities for those who have been systematically underserved,” said Naria Santa Lucia, Microsoft General Manager for Digital Inclusion and U.S. Community Engagement. “That’s why we’re collaborating with organizations including Per Scholas to broaden access to computer science education nationwide.”

For more information, and to learn about upcoming Per Scholas courses offered in collaboration with Microsoft, please visit www.PerScholas.org/Microsoft. 

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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 PerScholas.org.

Sridevi Muthiah Harichandran

Grace Yao

1,000 Careers Update – Learners are Excelling Because of You!

Dayna and Sadaf are two of hundreds of Per Scholas learners who received tech toolkits as part of our 1,000 Careers Campaign. 

Dayna Thomas Tucker, a Per Scholas learner, has personally benefited from the Raspberry Pi toolkit she received. The working mother of two has had a passion for technology and computers since she was young and would work on computers in school to try to figure out how they worked. 

Per Scholas graduate photo of Dayna

We recently connected with Dayna, who reflected, “I received the Raspberry Pi toolkit and gave me access to hands-on experience that I needed. The Raspberry Pi is Linux based and Linux was not something that I was used to. I had to rely solely on commands and learn codes.  It  was an interesting and fun way for us to learn a new system that was not like my Windows computer. It was definitely something different, but a great experience for someone like myself that has never worked with that type of system before.” Dayna is currently completing her End User Desktop Support training and is set to graduate in June with her eyes set on a technology career. 

Another example of how these tech toolkits and laptops assisted in our learner’s success is that of Sadaf Haroon, who received a Macbook for her training.  Sadaf obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science originally, but had a gap in her employment once she became a mother.  Eager to return to the industry, she looked into Per Scholas’s training as a way to get back and freshen up her skills.

Per Scholas student photo of Sadaf.

Now a Software Engineer at AT&T, Sadaf initially received multiple job offers within a week of graduation and mentioned how her training and career development at Per Scholas connected her with her current position.  Sadaf, an immigrant mother of three, was at first intimidated to resume a career in a thriving field as Tech. “Per Scholas made it easier for me to learn and now I am an earning member of my family. What can be greater than that?”

When we had the chance to chat with Sadaf, she shared, “It was a great initiative to provide the laptop.  I was able to keep up with online learning and materials covered in my course since the computer came equipped with everything I needed that was up to date according to the program. It was also exciting to pick up the device and meet according to CDC guidelines.”  

The impact of these toolkits is clear – enabling hundreds of learners to pursue training and open doors to high-growth careers in tech. 

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