Fatim Conde

Auborn Abiera

Per Scholas Awarded $1 Million Grant from JPMorgan Chase to Scale Apprenticeship Program

Per Scholas is excited to announce that we received a $1 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to help expand apprenticeship opportunities for learners and scale programs for in-demand occupations.

We are one of four organizations to receive the philanthropic commitment totaling $3.5 million. This commitment will support Per Scholas in developing and piloting a new cybersecurity apprenticeship initiative, which addresses a critical labor shortage while testing a sustainable, innovative, earn-and-learn approach to achieving economic mobility.

“We are incredibly grateful for this generous investment, which will increase our impact and create economic mobility for thousands of individuals in communities across the country, including an anticipated $80M generated in first-year wages for new cyber technologists historically underrepresented in the cybersecurity space,” said Per Scholas President & CEO Plinio Ayala. “We are excited to partner with employers across the country to make this program a success and help close the cybersecurity skills gap.”

This support will also help us expand our existing suite of cybersecurity training programs to reach more learners annually, recruiting unemployed and underemployed talent from Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Newark, St. Louis and Greater Washington region.

Read the full press release here.

Per Scholas Newark Celebrates Recent Graduates

On September 8th, Per Scholas Newark celebrated the recent graduation of four cohorts – two in IT Support and two in Cybersecurity. The event also included a commencement ceremony for the latest graduating Cybersecurity cohort. 

This event was hosted by Per Scholas Newark’s Managing Director, Jessica Zorola, who congratulated the new alumni on their hard work and success. Jessica also expressed her gratitude to the Per Scholas Newark staff and national team, who work hard each day to create a supportive, educational environment that prepares learners for success in the tech field on multiple levels. “[Our staff] have been the heart and soul of Per Scholas Newark since our founding in 2019,” Jessica told attendees. “They provide the skills and training one needs to succeed from day one on the job. My fellow colleagues have created a space of curiosity and excellence – to ensure that our learners not only build their own successful pathways within tech but lift their fellow peers to greatness as a community.”

Sandip Amin, Per Scholas’ Northeast Regional Senior Vice President, delivered celebratory remarks, highlighting Per Scholas’ long-standing commitment to unlocking potential through technology and career development training. Jose Rodriguez, Per Scholas Newark’s Campus Director, then spoke to the strengths of our Newark campus’ multiple training programs and its commitment to excellence in IT Support, Cybersecurity, Professional Development, and job-ready skills before introducing representative speakers from each of the four graduating cohorts to celebrate their respective cohorts’ accomplishments.

Next, Per Scholas President and CEO Plinio Ayala shared reflections on the power of tech training in Newark, emphasizing Per Scholas’ origin story and its role in addressing the need for skilled technology talent. He extended his well wishes to the graduates, highlighting their promising futures. Dave Francisco, a 2022 graduate of Per Scholas Newark’s Cybersecurity course and current member of the Per Scholas Newark Advisory Board, then took the stage to share his journey, emphasizing the transformative power of a career in tech. Dave, who now works as an Engineer at Kinesys Automation, offered valuable insights and wisdom to the newest Per Scholas Newark alumni, underscoring the importance of continued growth and development.

The ceremony continued with an address by Cybersecurity cohort valedictorian Asma Daif Allah, who delivered inspirational remarks and congratulated her classmates on their success. Core Value Recipients were also recognized, acknowledging graduates for their continued commitment to the values of Ambition, Integrity, Professionalism, Resourcefulness, Perseverance, and Commitment to Service.

Michele Alcazar, Head of Human Resources at Per Scholas partner Prudential, then extended her congratulatory remarks to the graduates, emphasizing the significance of their accomplishments and the opportunities that lay ahead. The program reached its culmination with recognition of each graduating learner; graduates walked across the stage to receive their graduation certificates and official Per Scholas padfolios. 

Learn more about upcoming training opportunities at Per Scholas Newark and apply by visiting PerScholas.org/Newark.


Per Scholas Celebrates $20 Million Investment from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Per Scholas Celebrates $20 Million Investment from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Transformational Investment Propels and Positions Tech Skills Nonprofit for National Future Impact

BRONX, New York (September 28, 2023)Per Scholas, a national nonprofit committed to advancing economic mobility and unlocking potential through technology career training, today announced a $20 million investment from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

Receiving this transformational investment from MacKenzie Scott, one of the most dynamic philanthropists in modern times, is a testament to Per Scholas' impact over our nearly 30 year history. As we've evolved from a computer recycler in the South Bronx to a technical skills trainer in 22 cities and counting across America, we are so grateful for this $20 million gift – the largest, unrestricted funding our organization has ever received. This investment will propel Per Scholas for even greater national impact well into the future, centered on growth and innovation and ensuring our alumni achieve a thriving wage through our Career Accelerator. — Plinio Ayala, President & CEO, Per Scholas

To date, Per Scholas has prepared more than 20,000 individuals across the U.S. for high-growth careers in technology by offering tuition-free, rigorous, 12- to 15-week training in the nation’s most in-demand tech skills. The evidence-based Per Scholas model has been proven in multiple gold-standard research studies, and on average, Per Scholas-trained technologists go on to earn three times their pre-training wage in their first job following graduation. All told, Per Scholas graduates have earned more than $2.4 billion in their post-Per Scholas careers, powering economic advancement in communities across the nation.

Per Scholas connects graduates to high growth careers through our network of 850+ employer partners, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups, and supports alumni through the organization’s latest innovation, the Career Accelerator, which provides Per Scholas alumni short-term upskilling opportunities, in turn propelling careers. As a result, every dollar invested in Per Scholas results in at least $8 in net economic return.

I'd like to express my most heartfelt gratitude to Per Scholas staff, funders, employer partners, and supporters, who have believed in our mission to advance economic equity and increase opportunity through America's hottest sector - technology. While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted life in ways previously unimagined, it presented the opportunity for Per Scholas to innovate a new delivery model, which proved so successful that we were able to scale our impact four-fold. I echo Plinio's gratitude to Ms. Scott - this $20 million investment will certainly position Per Scholas well into our next decade of unlocking potential. — Lewis Miller, Per Scholas Co-Founder and National Board Chair

Today, Per Scholas operates in 20+ U.S. markets including Atlanta, Baltimore, Greater Boston, Chicago, Greater Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Newark, New York, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. This investment will enable Per Scholas to continue to expand its training and talent solutions to additional communities across the United States, with the goal of training 10,000 learners per year by 2026.

About Per Scholas
For more than 25 years, Per Scholas has been advancing equity and increasing opportunity across America. Per Scholas unlocks potential for individuals, communities, and employers through rigorous training for careers in tech. Partnering with dynamic employer partners, from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups, we are building sustainable and diverse talent pipelines, together changing the face of tech. With national remote training and campuses in 20+ cities and growing, Per Scholas offers tuition-free training in the most in-demand tech skills, including Cloud, Cybersecurity, Data Engineering, IT Support, Software Engineering, and more.

To date, more than 20,000 individuals have gained the skills to launch high-growth tech careers, earning three times their pre-training wage. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging is in our DNA: 85 percent of Per Scholas learners are people of color, two in five are women, and more than half have a high school diploma as their highest education credential. Visit PerScholas.org and follow us on LinkedIn, X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


Meet Esther, Per Scholas Dallas Graduate & Technologist 

Esther is just one of Per Scholas’ 20,000+ alumni. She’s a proud Per Scholas Dallas IT Support graduate and successful career switcher, living her dream of working in tech. Click below to hear her story and how she’s benefitting from the Career Accelerator – earning more stackable credentials to propel her tech career! 

JPMorgan Chase Hosts Innovative Workshop with Per Scholas Newark’s Cybersecurity Learners

Earlier this month, Per Scholas Newark hosted JPMorgan Chase at our campus for an innovative corporate engagement workshop, Unlocking Opportunities in Cybersecurity: Guidance on Building a Successful Career. The event was organized by Per Scholas Newark Advisory Board member Farrah Patterson, who serves as Executive Director for Technology and Cybersecurity Operational Risk at JPMorgan Chase. Fifteen learners in our current Per Scholas Newark cybersecurity cohort benefited from the event.  

Topics covered during the session included Power of Networking, Interview Preparation, Imposter Syndrome, and Elevator Pitches. Speakers shared authentic insights and invaluable tips on the organic way to approach interviews, guidance on mastering interviews with a memorable 30-second introduction, and advice from their personal journeys in technology, which serves as a powerful example of success for women and people of color in cybersecurity. This session afforded the presenters an extraordinary opportunity to give back and connect with future cybersecurity technologists. 

JPMorgan Chase cybersecurity event

The opportunity to increase equity here in New Jersey, through technology careers, is tremendous. At Per Scholas, we see technology as a tool to unlock potential, and to us, every company is a tech company. One of the major challenges is the lack of representation in tech, meaning individuals who participate in skills-based training, like the training we offer at Per Scholas, could be making a difference! 

“JPMorgan Chase technologists, including our Advisory Board Member Farrah Patterson, understand the importance of diversifying tech,” Per Scholas Newark Managing Director Jessica Zorola stated. “This all leads to growing a technical workforce in the Garden State, and I’m very hopeful that other businesses in need of well-trained tech talent get in touch with Per Scholas.”  

JPMorgan Chase colleagues Shawn McCredie, VP of Recruiting, Cybersecurity, Technology and Controls; Sarah Gentillon, VP of Digital Content Lead; Dan Tutt, Project Execution Associate, Cybersecurity; and Ardis Carlos, VP of Cybersecurity Community Engagement Manager, contributed their talent to help organize the workshop and provided industry insight to our cybersecurity learners. Farrah Patterson recalled how this Cybersecurity workshop was a great opportunity to inspire and guide learners as they prepare to enter the workforce. “We must support these students in achieving their career objectives together,” she said.  

Per Scholas learner Asma Daif Allah reflected, “I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for the invaluable insights and guidance provided by the JPMorgan Chase & Co. team during the program. It was an amazing opportunity that has equipped me with essential knowledge and skills.” 

If you’re interested in organizing a corporate engagement event with Per Scholas learners at any campus or virtually, please email [email protected]


Dave Francisco

Waltasia Mansano

TD Bank Leaders Volunteer with Per Scholas Learners for Mock Interviews

On May 15, more than 25 leaders from TD Bank volunteered their time and participated in mock interviews with a Cybersecurity Cohort of Per Scholas learners from Atlanta, Newark, and Boston. Corporate volunteerism is critical in Per Scholas’ training and provides an opportunity to connect with business leaders and gain industry insight. 

TD Bank leaders had a chance to give back by helping aspiring technologists improve their communication skills, learn about key technical content, and better understand varied corporate cultures. Volunteers had the opportunity to provide insight on their technical skills, social and emotional intelligence at work, and career pathways through mock interviews. The advice and insight given greatly impacts Per Scholas learners. Through this interaction, learners are able to increase their knowledge about a corporate environment and gain valuable practice speaking with a working technical professional.

To learn how you can volunteer with Per Scholas, reach out to Robert Wilhelm at [email protected].


Per Scholas Receives Funding from Citizens Philanthropic Foundation for Alumni Upskilling Program

Earlier this spring, Per Scholas received $50,000 from the Citizens Philanthropic Foundation for our Per Scholas Alumni Upskilling program, which provides continued support to our alumni after they leave Per Scholas. Focuses of the program include  access to career and financial counseling, upskilling courses, and more. 

This funding was part of a commitment by Citizen Bank’s Citizens Charitable Foundation and Citizens Philanthropic Foundation to grant $350,000 to support technical training and career counseling in the state of New Jersey. Other funding recipients included Greater Newark LISC, Urban League of Essex County, and Year Up New Jersey.

Jessica Zorola, Per Scholas Newark’s Managing Director, was interviewed by NJ Tech Weekly about Per Scholas’ participation in this grant program. “As a result of the investment from the Citizens Philanthropic Foundation, Per Scholas is going to be able to grow our alumni upskilling offerings for individuals here in Newark and the surrounding New York City metro area,” Jessica said. “People who have graduated from Per Scholas want the opportunity to move around in the tech industry, and to qualify to move up the ranks. If you think about careers in tech, they are constantly changing and evolving, so learners need to acquire more industry-recognized certifications, building a little bit more of that skill set to build careers over time.”

Jessica also emphasized the importance of grants like this in helping Per Scholas and other similarly-focused organizations promote equity in tech employment in New Jersey. In an industry that is predominantly white and male, it is important to increase opportunities for female and minority learners to thrive. “When I talk with our learners and alumni, I’m very open and honest about addressing the challenges of this lack of representation,” Jessica told NJ Tech Weekly. “You know, only 4 percent of technologists nationwide identify as women of color like myself.  So, when I have my learners in the classroom and hear their stories, it can feel very impactful and powerful because they are bringing in that representation that is missing in tech.”

Read the full news article here!


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