Per Scholas President and CEO Plinio Ayala Speaks at Salesforce World Tour NYC

On December 14th, Per Scholas partner Salesforce held the New York City stop of their World Tour event. This traveling event brings together Salesforce users, partners, customers, and surrounding communities for a day of learning and discussion, and this year’s event delved into the latests in AI solutions, and its ability to drive productivity and customer satisfaction. Experts from a variety of fields weighed in on the next “Big AIdeas for Good.”

Per Scholas President and CEO, Plinio Ayala was interviewed at the event, and described how Per Scholas has partnered with Salesforce to create Per Scholas Resume Boost, powered by @Salesforce AI. This tool generates a customized resume draft based on a learner’s information and course grade, which is refined with the help of Per Scholas career coaches, expediting the resume-creation process from around 6 hours to just 30 minutes. Beyond technical training a portion of all Per Scholas courses are dedicated to professional development, and this powerful AI tool will greatly support  Per Scholas staff, allowing them to devote time to other areas and provide training to a greater number learners. This advancement will help move our organization towards our goal of graduating 10,000 learners per year.

Click to learn more about the event and watch Plinio speak!


Daniel West, Vice President of Social Impact at BlackRock, Delivers Keynote Address at Per Scholas New York Graduation

Per Scholas was excited and honored to welcome Daniel West, Vice President of Social Impact at BlackRock as the keynote speaker at our last Per Scholas New York graduation of 2023. The ceremony celebrated 33 graduates of a Cybersecurity cohort co-hosted with our satellite partner, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. 

BlackRock has partnered with Per Scholas since 2018 to create paths to financial security by providing individuals often excluded from tech careers with skills training and access to high-growth opportunities in the tech sector. This partnership has been pivotal in many Per Scholas initiatives, including our scale to remote training during the Covid pandemic, building and expanding our training capacity and options, the launch of our newest campus in Houston, and more.

In his commencement address, Mr. West celebrated the incredible achievements, determination, hard work, and limitless future potential of each graduate, as well as the foundation that had been set within each of them for a lifetime of continuous learning. 

“This is a momentous occasion, not just for each of you individually, but for the communities you come from, and for the transformative power of education in the pursuit of a brighter future,” West said. “Your unique perspectives, informed by the tapestry of your individual stories, will contribute to innovative solutions, and foster more inclusive workplaces…You have the potential to shape the future, not only for yourselves but for those who will follow in your footsteps. Armed with your education and the foundation laid at Per Scholas, I have no doubt that each of you will indeed change the world.”

Per Scholas Launches Staten Island Satellite Campus at the Gerard Carter Center in Stapleton

Per Scholas, in collaboration with the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island, Amazon, and local officials, has officially launched our satellite campus at the Gerard Carter Center in Stapleton, Staten Island. The first class on-site, an IT Support course, kicked off on October 23rd, and a celebratory ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on November 2nd. 

Read about the launch here!

Per Scholas Phoenix Hosts Open House Event and Introduces New Managing Director

Phoenix, AZ (November 1, 2023): Per Scholas, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing economic mobility for underserved communities through IT training and job placement, welcomes you to an open house event at its new Phoenix campus on Friday, November 3. 

Community members in attendance will learn more about Per Scholas and their transformative work in providing training, certification, and job placement services for individuals looking to break into the technology industry. 

“We are excited to welcome the Phoenix community to our open house and showcase the incredible impact that Per Scholas has in empowering individuals with IT skills and career opportunities,” said Jaclyn Boyes, Regional Senior Vice President. “We are dedicated to providing a pathway to economic mobility for underrepresented communities, and this event is an excellent opportunity for the community to meet our team, understand our programs, and connect with our mission.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to connect with the newest Per Scholas Phoenix team member, Managing Director Jerry J. McPherson, who joined in June 2023.

An economic activist, community leader, and dedicated change agent for unrepresented communities, McPherson brings a wealth of experience to his role, having previously served as the Director of Economic Empowerment at the Greater Phoenix Urban League, serving as a CPA in both public and private practice and is a proud veteran of the United States Military. 

“Throughout my career, my primary focus has been on creating economic opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for others,” shares McPherson. “The technology industry offers a unique platform for career growth and financial stability that many from underserved communities have not benefited from. At Per Scholas, we are unlocking potential and harnessing the power of the evolving tech sector to make transformational change. I am honored to lead this team dedicated to changing the face of tech right here in Arizona.”

McPherson is an accomplished leader with recognitions that include “40 Under 40” by both the Phoenix Business Journal and CPA Practice Advisor. 

Come meet the Per Scholas staff, alumni, and community partners and discover how you can be a part of Phoenix’s vibrant tech ecosystem.

When: Friday, November 3

Time: 1:30 p.m. — 5 p.m. 

Where: Per Scholas Phoenix, 3003 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 85012

The event will feature a networking mixer, door prizes, refreshments and appetizers, and campus tours. Individuals are encouraged to register their attendance

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 22 cities, Per Scholas has trained more than 20,000 individuals in tech skills, building bridges to careers in technology. To learn more, visit


Per Scholas Philadelphia Teaching Fellow David Byard Participates in Panel Discussion for Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia

On August 10, the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Philadelphia hosted a Connecting Communities webinar, where Per Scholas Philadelphia alumni and Teaching Fellow David Byard participated in a panel discussion. Panelists shared insights from the Worker Voices 2023 report, how many workers are reshaping the workforce, recent expectations of job quality, and how they use skill development and self-investment to change their economic opportunities.

Federal Reserve Presidents Raphael Bostic from the Atlanta Fed and Patrick T. Harker from the Philadelphia Fed shared their perspectives, and David Byard was joined by speakers Rebecca Hanson, Executive Director at SEIU-UHW Joint Employer Education Fund; Sarah Miller, Principal Advisor at Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Ashley Putnam, Director, Economic Growth & Mobility Project at Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and moderator Whitney Felder, Marketing Communications Specialist at Fed Communities.

Watch the full Shifting Perspectives and Expectations on Employment webinar here!

In addition to the webinar and considering the takeaways from the discussions, Per Scholas Senior Managing Director Nikki Pumphrey provided her perspective on how Worker Voices are Essential. “During the pandemic, and perhaps even more so recently, we have seen greater adoption of skills-based hiring,” Pumphrey states. “The World Economic Forum predicted that 45% of companies had focused efforts on hiring based on competencies by 2022. This trend is likely to continue as new labor market dynamics emerge and talent shortages continue. Employers are making more informed choices about how they attract talent, but also about how to develop effective skill-building strategies for incumbent workers.”

Read Nikki Pumphrey’s Per Scholas Perspective here.  

Per Scholas Columbus Featured on Out N About Columbus

Per Scholas Columbus was featured on a recent Out N About Columbus segment on Sunday, August 20. The show focuses on events, entertainment, and travel around Columbus, and often has segments dedicated to important happenings around town. 

On the segment, “Learn Something New,” hosts Mike Killburn and Renee Joseph discussed different topics, including Per Scholas Columbus’s technology training. Per Scholas Columbus Managing Director Jenn Fowler Howard underscored the importance of tech training in Columbus and the power of our learners. In her interview, highlighted the ways Per SCholas eliminates barriers, helping unlock potential for learners and alumni to launch thriving careers. Watch the full feature here, starting at timestamp 9:23!


Per Scholas North Carolina Continues to Empower Learners Through Innovative Partnership with Truist Foundation

As part of Per Scholas’ mission to promote equitable access to education, Per Scholas North Carolina has partnered with Truist Foundation, an organization committed to building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. The partnership will allow us to expand our training to rural communities across North Carolina. This month, Truist Foundation awarded Per Scholas with a $1 million grant, and our organizations held a joint event focused on professional development. 

Truist Foundation Grant Reception

On August 10th, Truist Foundation announced that it would be committing $2 million to promote economic mobility through technology-oriented training initiatives in communities across North Carolina. Per Scholas received $1 million from this initiative, with the other $1 million going to tech training nonprofit NPower. 

This generous grant will be used to double the size of Per Scholas North Carolina’s existing training program, allowing us to increase access and opportunity for high-growth careers in tech to learners across North Carolina. Per Scholas will be growing its partnership with Wilkes Community College to provide tech skills, professional development, and coaching to learners in Western North Carolina, outside of Charlotte city limits, and offer remote training programs to learners in rural areas of the state.

Per Scholas Chief Development Officer Caitlyn Brazill attended the remarkable event. Also in attendance were Heath Campbell –Regional President of Metrolina, Truist Financial Corporation; Bill Rogers – Chairman and CEO, Truist Financial Corporation; Erskine Bowles – Co-Founder, Housing Impact Fund; George Dunlap – Chairman of the Board, Mecklenburg County Commission; Keitt King – Head of Truist Community Capital; and Bertina Ceccarelli – CEO, NPower.

Lynette Bell – President, Truist Foundation, moderated a panel with Mike Terrell – Managing Director, Per Scholas North Carolina; Adelaide Martin – Operations & Impact Manager, Ascent Housing; and Ray Trapp – Executive Director, NPower North Carolina.

“Per Scholas is grateful for this tremendous investment into Per Scholas North Carolina from Charlotte-based Truist Foundation, helping to increase pathways to economic mobility for North Carolinians,” said Mike Terrell, managing director of Per Scholas North Carolina. “We know the transformative impact a career in technology can have on individuals, and increasing access and opportunity is key…We’re very humbled by Truist Foundation’s grant, which will help us unlock potential for even more aspiring rural technologists, in turn building stronger communities, companies, and economies.” 

Per Scholas North Carolina Truist Volunteer Event

Per Scholas North Carolina and Truist Foundation held a joint event on August 10th, in which volunteers from Truist paired with Per Scholas North Carolina technologists, providing our technologists with the opportunity to learn from industry professionals and practice their growing professional development skills. 

20% of Per Scholas’ training curriculum centers on professional development and coaching, with emphasis on the essential skills of problem solving, collaboration, innovation, and leadership. Opportunities like these in which future tech professionals can meet and learn from established industry experts are priceless in fostering these skills and are a great way for technologists to begin building their professional networks. 

After the paired coaching sessions, Per Scholas North Carolina’s Manager of Strategic Partnerships Desiree Patterson led participants in a Talk Back session, in which everyone discussed what they had learned and reflected on how they would use what they had learned to grow going forward. 

The event, which was hosted by Per Scholas North Carolina Campus Director Dr. Jastacia Jones, also included remarks from Truist’s Chief Financial Officer,  Mike Maguire, who delivered the announcement of Truist’s $1 million grant to Per Scholas, and from Per Scholas North Carolina Managing Director Mike Terrell, who expressed Per Scholas’ sincere gratitude to Truist in supporting our joint mission, and thanked the participants of the event. 

Read more about Truist Foundation’s $1 million grant to Per Scholas here and here


NPower and Per Scholas Each Receive $1M Grants from Truist Foundation to Support Tech Training across North Carolina

NPower and Per Scholas Each Receive $1M Grants from Truist Foundation to Support Tech Training Across North Carolina  

Grants will help expand access to careers in technology, boost
economic mobility for underserved adult learners

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 10, 2023 – In an era where technology and digital prowess have become essential for many job opportunities, Truist Foundation today announced $2 million in commitments to support a singular focus: forging pathways to economic mobility through technology-oriented training initiatives in communities across North Carolina. A $1 million grant will go to national tech training nonprofit NPower and a separate $1 million grant will go to Per Scholas, a national nonprofit that aims to advance economic equity through training for tech careers. 

“North Carolina has long been a thriving tech hub, but not everyone has access to the opportunities it offers,” said Lynette Bell, president of Truist Foundation. “Truist Foundation wants to make careers in tech accessible to everyone across the state, and by offering coursework and career opportunities in more communities, NPower and Per Scholas are helping to break down those barriers to entry.” 

Per Scholas will use its funding to double the size of its technology skills training program offering in the Tarheel state. Through dynamic partnerships, Per Scholas North Carolina will offer remote training programs to more than 250 learners in rural areas of the state in an effort to increase access and opportunity for high-growth careers in technology. 

As it expands, the organization will grow its powerful partnership with Wilkes Community College to provide tech skills, professional development and coaching to learners in Western North Carolina, outside of Charlotte city limits. With a robust roster of employer partners, from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups, some previous Per Scholas North Carolina graduates were able to double their pretraining wages in their first tech job, which can result in sustainable economic mobility.

“Per Scholas is grateful for this tremendous investment into Per Scholas North Carolina from Charlotte-based Truist Foundation, helping to increase pathways to economic mobility for North Carolinians. We know the transformative impact a career in technology can have on individuals, and increasing access and opportunity is key. Per Scholas North Carolina has seen the impact of our rural training model already, injecting more than $1.9 million back into local communities,” said Mike Terrell, managing director of Per Scholas North Carolina. “We’re very humbled by Truist Foundation’s grant, which will help us unlock potential for even more aspiring rural technologists, in turn building stronger communities, companies and economies.”  

Using the grant funds, NPower will expand its free flagship Tech Fundamentals training program into North Carolina for the first time with a location in Raleigh—a vibrant city within the Research Triangle community. The 16-week training program addresses barriers that exist among young adults ages 18 to 26, military-connected individuals and women of color eager to enter the field of technology.

The ambitious expansion seeks to attract, educate and empower at least 150 new learners over the course of the grant, and aims to hone their skills to master the art of information technology (IT) with the expectation of acquiring expertise equivalent to professionals with one to two years of experience. One of the goals of this initiative is for the impact to extend beyond the boundaries of learning, enabling these graduates to confidently embrace the digital economy and its myriad possibilities.

“Real innovation begins when the problem statement is clear and there is a sincere commitment to address it. That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with Truist Foundation for our expansion into North Carolina,” said Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO of NPower. “Empowering underserved communities through innovation in tech and embracing diversity isn’t just a vision; it’s the driving force behind NPower’s mission, where every challenge becomes an opportunity to pave the way for a brighter, more inclusive tomorrow.”

During an event at Truist Center in Charlotte, Truist Financial Chairman and CEO Bill Rogers joined Bell, Ceccarelli and Caitlyn Brazill, chief development officer of Per Scholas, to formally announce the grants and discuss their impact across North Carolina. Terrell and NPower Executive Director Ray Trapp also participated in a panel moderated by Bell to discuss the importance of progressing economic mobility in North Carolina.

North Carolina is known as a tech hub in the U.S. In 2021, commercial real estate leader CBRE ranked Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte among the top tech talent markets in the U.S. and Canada. According to their findings, Charlotte proved to have one of the most diverse tech talent workforces in the U.S. and ranks among the top 10 states in the nation for total employment in this sector. 

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About NPower

NPower is a national nonprofit on a mission to move people from poverty to the middle class by training youth from underserved communities and military-connected individuals in a range of tech skills and placing them in quality jobs. Students who enter their free, six-month program, earn industry-recognized certifications and graduate with the competencies of an IT professional with one to two years of experience. NPower also places students in paid internships with corporate and nonprofit organizations. Eighty percent of NPower graduates get a full-time job or continue their education. Not only is NPower changing life trajectories for individuals from vulnerable communities, but they are also strengthening the overall competitiveness of U.S. businesses hamstrung by today’s limited pool of IT talent. To learn more about NPower, visit

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 our DNA, with 85 percent of learners are people of color, two in five are women, and more than half have a high school diploma as their highest education credential. Learn more by visiting and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. For local updates, follow Per Scholas North Carolina on LinkedIn and Facebook

About Truist Foundation

Truist Foundation is committed to Truist Financial Corporation’s (NYSE: TFC) purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities. Established in 2020, the foundation makes strategic investments in nonprofit organizations to help ensure the communities it serves have more opportunities for a better quality of life. Truist Foundation grants and activities focus on building career pathways to economic mobility and strengthening small businesses. Learn more at

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Truist Invests $17 Million in the Future of Charlotte and Communities Across North Carolina

Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC) and Truist Foundation today announced $17 million in commitments to support affordable housing in Charlotte and career development and economic mobility programs across North Carolina.

The Truist commitment consists of three initiatives:

  • $15 million equity investment from Truist Community Capital in the Housing Impact Fund II to combat displacement, secure affordable housing and facilitate critical services for low-to-moderate income families across Mecklenburg County. It is the second such fund formed by Erskine Bowles, former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration and White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton, and Nelson Schwab, a founding partner of Carousel Capital.
  • $1 million Truist Foundation grant to Per Scholas North Carolina to expand technology skills training in rural North Carolina.
  • $1 million Truist Foundation grant to NPower to provide technology skills and employment opportunities for military-connected individuals and underserved young adults in the Raleigh community.

Read the Truist press release here.

Per Scholas Diverse by Design Hosts Unlocking Potential Summer Concert and Spoken Word Celebration

On July 20, Per Scholas Diverse by Design hosted our first-ever Unlocking Potential Summer Concert and Spoken Word Celebration. This hybrid event, produced live from Per Scholas New York and Per Scholas North Carolina and streamed at, brought together Per Scholas staff, learners, alumni, partners, advisory board members, and more to rally around our mission to unlocking potential. 

This inspiring event featured talented musicians and poets who work, learn, and partner with Per Scholas, including:

  • Deji Adefuye, Per Scholas Dallas Teaching Fellow, who premiered two original songs titled Persevere and You Believe In You
  • Melodie Rodgers, Per Scholas Manager of Career Advancement, sharing her original poem, Unlock Your Potential 
  • Zaidi Howard, Per Scholas Chicago Teaching Fellow, sharing his original poem, Soul Questions 
  • Caprice Green, Per Scholas Detroit Alumna, performing Astonishing from Little Women 
  • Mike Terrell, Per Scholas North Carolina Managing Director, performing Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants to Rule the World 
  • Omoanatse McCarther, Per Scholas Diverse by Design Senior Director, sharing her original poem, Forged Key 
  • Broadway Star Tim Connell, performing Corner of the Sky from Pippin
  • Nonprofit Consultant and Leadership Coach Saundra Thomas, performing her original poem, Silver Linings

Hosted by Executive Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Culture Ken Walker, viewers had the opportunity to hear from our EVP of People Montreece Smith, Regional Senior Vice Presidents Noah Mitchell, Jaclyn Boyes, and Robin Nadeau, as well as President and CEO Plinio Ayala. Chief Development Officer Caitlyn Brazill delivered remarks live from the Bronx and introduced the final performances. 

Scores of Per Scholians came together for this exciting event; many thanks to Per Scholas Columbus, Per Scholas Dallas, Per Scholas New York Bronx, and Per Scholas North Carolina for hosting on-campus viewing parties.

Unlocking Potential Concert & Spoken Word Celebration

In closing, the event showcased just a handful of our brilliant Per Scholas alumni, which you can watch here.  If you missed the Unlocking Potential Summer Concert and Spoken Word Celebration, you can watch the recording here! If you feel inspired and want to help unlock potential, please give at


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