Per Scholas Celebrates 25 Years with Newly Renovated HQ Opening

On October 16th, Per Scholas revealed its newly renovated headquarters in the Bronx, NY and celebrated its 25-year history with the renaming of the site as the “John Hoyt Stookey Tech Training Center” in honor of its Founder and Board Chair Emeritus, John Hoyt Stookey. Per Scholas has grown to become one of the nation’s leading workforce development organizations providing cost-free technology training to thousands of underemployed and underserved individuals. The growth of the organization was presented during the ceremony’s reveal of the Per Scholas museum which charts the organization’s history from “bridging the digital divide” as an asset recovery center that repurposed used computers for local South Bronx schools to “bridging the talent gap” within the tech industry across its eleven markets.

The ceremony gathered together Per Scholas staff and students, as well as some of the organization’s key supporters and funding partners who toured the facility and participated in various tech demos. Per Scholas President and CEO, Plinio Ayala, also acknowledged the support of the Bronx Borough President’s Office and their support within the Bronx. “With their help, we’ve grown from enrolling 50 students a year to close to 1,000 students per year.”

Two days after the ceremony, the John Hoyt Stookey Tech Training Center celebrated the graduation of its first cybersecurity cohort. For Abe Mendez, Per Scholas New York Managing Director, this will be the first of many cohorts to join the ranks of the classes that came before them at other sites, as well as alumni who have successfully established themselves within the cybersecurity field.

“We’ve had hundreds of graduates in cybersecurity working and are now thriving at companies across the United States, helping to protect companies from threats from across the cybersecurity landscape.”

Cybersecurity graduate Kristina Arnold explored a number of career options and similar education opportunities cost way too much. Because of Per Scholas, she has been able to identify a career path that is both personally ad financially rewarding. The renaming of the site recognizes the leadership and legacy that has shepherded the organization to where it is today, but its impact on those who it helped to bring out the best in will remain long-lasting.

“It is not just the training, Per Scholas provides a holistic approach, they help you as a full person. On behalf of myself and the twenty-two classmates from the Bronx’s inaugural Cybersecurity class, I want to say thank you to the funders and supporters here with us today. Because of you, we are taking the next step in our technology careers and we are able to do that because of you and because of Per Scholas.”

Per Scholas would like to thank all of the contributors who made this renovation possible:

Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr.
Richard and Jacqueline Emmet
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation
The Hyde and Watson Foundation
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
New York City Council, Bronx Delegation
The New York Community Trust
Pratt Institute

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