Per Scholas Celebrates Inaugural Graduations in Phoenix and Seattle
Per Scholas has seen a lot of growth in 2021 as we expanded out to the west coast and welcomed our first graduates from Phoenix and Seattle! This month marks Per Scholas’s inaugural Full Stack Java Developer graduations in Phoenix and Seattle, powered by TEKsystems, These graduations follow our initial inaugural commencement in Pittsburgh, where half of Pittsburgh graduates have started their tech careers, several within a financial services institution and others with a logistics company. Since our training began, Per Scholas has been welcomed in these communities as we expand to advance economic mobility coast to coast.
In Phoenix, 19 graduates have mastered specific technical skills employers seek in entry and mid-level Java Developers, advanced their coding skills, and gained experience with Java, data structures, web services, algorithms, and more. Aligned with Per Scholas’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, half of the inaugural cohort in Phoenix identify as people of color and one-fifth as women.
Jaclyn Boyes has joined Per Scholas Phoenix as Managing Director, leading the strategic and programmatic direction of the local campus. Passionate about connecting people to purpose, Jaclyn’s career intersects nonprofit, business, and education. “The inaugural class reached their graduation goal by displaying adaptability, perseverance, and teamwork, and leave with key tech skills employers are seeking. We are thrilled for each learner’s success and excited to see our Per Scholas Phoenix graduates launch an in-demand career in technology,” said Jaclyn. “Thank you to TEKsystems for partnering with us to build a diverse pipeline of highly skilled tech talent here in Arizona.”
Per Scholas Instructors have been instrumental in the success of our inaugural Phoenix cohort. Jafer Al Haboubi, Phoenix’s Instructor, has noted that remotely teaching this cohort was fulfilling and a blessing: “I was happy to teach our beloved learners in Phoenix. They are some of the best learners I have had the pleasure of teaching! During this amazing 15-week journey, I have witnessed how these learners have overachieved their goals with resilience, commitment, and diligence. I feel blessed to change the lives of our learners via Per Scholas’ programs – an organization that truly cares about the community.”
On the far west coast in Seattle, 19 learners successfully graduated from Per Scholas’s inaugural Full Stack Java Developer course. Aligned with Per Scholas’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, two-thirds of learners are people of color, 42 percent identify as women, and half were unemployed for six or more months before they began this free, rigorous tech training.
Jacqueline Ivy Hardin has joined Per Scholas Seattle as Managing Director, leading the strategic and programmatic direction of the local campus. Passionate about creating equitable access to economic prosperity, Jackie’s career intersects workforce development, college access, and talent development. “Per Scholas is incredibly proud to join Seattle’s powerful tech community. Creating pathways to thriving wage careers for individuals traditionally underrepresented in technology is critical to maintaining a strong regional economy. We are excited for the opportunity to provide training that enables participants to kick start their careers in technology while also working toward the goal of creating inclusive economic prosperity in the region,” said Jackie Ivy Hardin, Managing Director, Per Scholas Seattle. “We’re very grateful to our partner TEKsystems and look forward to positively impacting communities across the Pacific Northwest, together.”
We are proud of our new graduates in Phoenix and Seattle as they make their mark in their communities and in the tech industry from our inaugural cohorts in partnership with TEKsystems, a hiring partner since 2015. Cheers to their new skills and careers in technology!
19 Java Developers Graduate from Inaugural Per Scholas Phoenix Cohort
Jaclyn Boyes Joins Per Scholas as Managing Director, Driving Equity in Tech For Nonprofit’s 1st Southwest Campus
Phoenix, Ariz. (August 30, 2021) – Earlier today, 19 learners successfully graduated from Per Scholas’s inaugural Full Stack Java Developer course in Phoenix, powered by TEKsystems, a full-stack technology and talent services provider. For more than 25 years, Per Scholas has advanced economic equity through technology, and this course marks the national nonprofit’s third graduation in its three-city expansion in 2021, preceded by Pittsburgh and Seattle.
Franklin Reed, Executive Director of Inclusion and Diversity at TEKsystems, delivered remarks during the virtual celebration, noting the cohort’s resilience and readiness for their upcoming IT careers. “Our TEKsystems team is more committed than ever to take your newly developed skills and parlay them into a life-changing and long-term career,” Reed said. Referencing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote, Reed closed with, “’Faith is taking the first step even when you cannot see the whole staircase.’ Don’t let today represent the top of the staircase—let it represent another step. We wish you every success as you enter the workforce and look forward to remaining connected with you on your journey.”
Graduates have mastered specific technical skills employers seek in entry and mid-level Java Developers, advanced their coding skills, and gained experience with Java, data structures, web services, algorithms, and more. Aligned with Per Scholas’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, half of the inaugural cohort identify as people of color and one-fifth as women.
Jaclyn Boyes has joined Per Scholas Phoenix as Managing Director, leading the strategic and programmatic direction of the local campus. Passionate about connecting people to purpose, Jaclyn’s career intersects nonprofit, business, and education. Prior to joining Per Scholas, Jaclyn served as Senior Career Specialist for Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management.
“The inaugural class reached their graduation goal by displaying adaptability, perseverance, and teamwork, and leave with key tech skills employers are seeking. We are thrilled for each learner’s success and excited to see our Per Scholas Phoenix graduates launch an in-demand career in technology,” said Jaclyn Boyes, Per Scholas Phoenix Managing Director. “Thank you to TEKsystems for partnering with us to build a diverse pipeline of highly skilled tech talent here in Arizona.”
A hiring partner since 2015, TEKsystems has hired hundreds of Per Scholas graduates to date. In collaboration with Per Scholas, TEKsystems will train hundreds more for high-demand roles over the next two years.
For more information, and to learn about upcoming Per Scholas courses offered in Phoenix, please visit PerScholas.org/Phoenix.
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 14,000 individuals in tech skills, building bridges to careers in technology. To learn more, visit PerScholas.org.
We’re partners in transformation. We help clients activate ideas and solutions to take advantage of a new world of opportunity. We are a team of 80,000 strong, working with over 6,000 clients, including 80% of the Fortune 500, across North America, Europe and Asia. As an industry leader in Full-Stack Technology Services, Talent Services and real-world application, we work with progressive leaders to drive change. That’s the power of true partnership. TEKsystems is an Allegis Group company.
Per Scholas Phoenix’s Diversity Initiatives Featured in AZ Tech Beat
Per Scholas Phoenix’s Managing Director, Jaclyn Boyes, discusses the diversity initiatives Per Scholas is taking in Arizona and how the focus of this training program is the equity of opportunity to pursue a career in tech. “There’s a lot of overlooked talent here — Black, brown, female talent in particular — who are unemployed or underemployed, and they can have a successful career in tech,” Boyes said.
This AZ Tech Beat article mentions how companies can get more diversity in their startup, the benefits of diversifying companies now, and Jaclyn’s take on community impact with Per Scholas in Phoenix. Jaclyn mentions how Per Scholas is impacting economic justice in the community when she mentioned, “these are really the jobs of today, the jobs that can change the course of a person’s life and their children’s life. What we’re working on is really economic justice here.”
West Coast, We’ve Arrived! Per Scholas Continues Nationwide Expansion
This May, Per Scholas expanded our presence to the West Coast as we successfully launched our first cohorts in Seattle and Phoenix, bringing our campus count to 17! This is a huge step as we work to advance economic equity through rigorous training for tech careers. With such strong tech markets and demand for talent in both cities, it was only a matter of time before Per Scholas made our mark on the west coast. Full-stack technology service provider TEKsystems is fueling these customized training tracks, with first cohorts focused on Java Development.
Plus, this month we announced that now, you can find Per Scholas across the nation, from Seattle to New York, with an upcoming expansion to Staten Island. Not only do we provide courses in high-demand fields, but we also partner with companies for a customized training program tailored to their individual needs to ensure our learners have access to job opportunities once they graduate.
For over 25 years, we have studied the tech industry, recognized its growth, and responded by providing companies with skilled learners that are diverse and passionate about technology. Per Scholas helps improve diversity in the tech industry as we expand and build equity in new communities, having already trained 14,000 diverse learners across the nation. With a graduation rate of 85%, and 80% of those graduates finding employment in tech within the first year after graduation, we are confident in our mission to diversify America’s tech workforce.
Learn more about all of our locations as we train learners coast to coast on our website.
Equitable Apprenticeships: Pioneering a More Inclusive Future of Work
Job Training That’s Free Until You’re Hired Is a Blueprint for Biden
Google.org Provides Per Scholas with a $1.5 Million Grant to Advance an Equitable Recover
As we mark one year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic put tens of millions of Americans out of work, we’re starting to see signs of hope. But while vaccinations and reopenings suggest a return of normalcy, many of our most vulnerable community members risk being left behind.
Through a generous partnership, Per Scholas and Google.org are working together to bring free immersive tech skills training and Google Career Certificate programming to 3,000+ BIPOC adults. This is a major contribution to Per Scholas’ goal of to propel 13,000+ diverse adults to a thriving wage by 2023.
Currently, for Black and Hispanic workers, the reported jobless rates remain significantly higher than the general population numbers, as they have been throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. And for many who were working low-wage jobs across leisure, retail and hospitality sectors, these jobs are not expected to come back. Meanwhile, demand for tech talent continues to rise, and employers across industries are paying a renewed focus on filling open roles with diverse talent, including individuals from nontraditional educational backgrounds.
Per Scholas and Google.org are providing individuals traditionally underrepresented in technology with the skills they need to meet these current labor demands, while working to ensure all alumni achieve a true thriving wage – enough to save money for retirement, invest in children’s education, or own a home – within two years of graduation. Through this grant, Google.org is providing free access for learners to its array of Google Career Certificates to 2,000+ Per Scholas alums [ register for IT Automation with Python today].
This work also encompasses support for Per Scholas’ Diverse by Design – which provides corporate leaders with the training and resources they need to recruit, retain, and cultivate diverse talent. Through solutions-driven conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion within tech, DxD produces meaningful content that empowers C-suite leaders to make valuable and socially impactful business decisions, and provides access to sophisticated customized training and talent sourcing solutions.
Google’s own Stephanie LeBlanc-Godfrey, Global Head of Inclusion for Women of Color, recently participated in a Diverse by Design panel discussion, hosted by Per Scholas, titled the 140K: Women and the Pandemic in which we explored the unique challenges that COVID-19 has presented for women and the solutions tech companies are employing to address them. Stephanie emphasized that, “It is our responsibility to make tech careers more accessible to women, and one clear solution to significantly accelerate that opportunity for women is through organizations like Per Scholas, which provide tuition-free tech-training, reducing the barriers of time and financial cost women traditionally face when they are trying to enter the tech industry. This levels the playing field and makes access to tech career opportunities more equitable.”
This announcement builds on a five-year history with Google.org, which has supported local markets in New York and Atlanta, and has already awarded Google Career Certificates to more than 1,000 Per Scholas learners who have completed in Google IT Support Professional and Google IT Automation.
The powerful impact of the Google and Per Scholas tech training partnership comes to life through the experience of our graduates. Curtis Kirksey had been interested in getting into the tech industry for a while, but it wasn’t until he lost his sales job due to the COVID-19 pandemic that he realized it was time to pursue his dream career. In his words, “the life-altering event” taught him that “mindset is crucial to one’s well-being,” and once he realized that, he began working on himself.
Curtis enrolled in Per Scholas’ Network Support training program and, although attending a full-time remote class was extremely challenging, he managed to earn his CompTIA A+, CompTIA Net+, and Google IT Support certifications AND graduated as class Valedictorian.
Curtis was in such high demand that he had several job offers when he graduated. He is currently employed full-time in the tech industry, earning significantly more than he did in his previous role in sales.
“Your opportunities are endless when it comes to this type of industry,” Curtis told WSB-TV Atlanta in a recent interview about his experience. He hopes to one day be chosen to work at the new Google site in Atlanta. “That would be a dream job to work for Google, and to know they are right here in my backyard,” Curtis said. “It gives me hope.”
Google.org’s support is helping propel students like Curtis to successful careers with thriving wages, while also helping Per Scholas advance racial and economic equity in the tech workforce, and create high-quality career pathways opportunities for thousands of diverse individuals who might otherwise never have been able to access them.
An instructor with one of our learners, exploring the internal workings of a computer (pre-Covid).