OLLR Class Photo 12.2012Last week, the IIIC had the joy of graduating its first Fall term computer and career advancement class. For these fourteen graduates, it was an especially joyful day that marked a new chapter in their professional lives. After twelve weeks of rigorous work, long hours in the classroom, and countless hours of homework, these students have been transformed from computer novices to proficient experts. This computer course, formally known as Online Learning and Readiness, is an intensive course sponsored by the Timothy Smith Network (TSN).

Throughout the course, instructor Chris Tegmo, taught students using the Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum, while teaching assistant Berlange Gauthier helped them with activities and exercises.   As part of their training, students learned word processing, created spreadsheets, databases, and presentations among others skills.  Additionally, as part of the career advancement component of the course, students walk away from the course with a resume, cover letter, and improved interviewing technique.  In a day and age where technology is a necessity, this course has created a bridge to connect these students to the digital world.  Such extensive training is undoubtedly an asset to any workplace.

It is clear that the students’ computer skills grown exponentially throughout the course and equally important, their confidence levels have soared.  During the IIIC graduation ceremony there was an ubiquitous sense of accomplishment, confidence and camaraderie.  Such a sense is well-deserved as there were many challenges that students had to overcome in order to reach this moment.  One student wrote about her sense of empowerment as a result of the course: “I had felt suppressed before I took this course, now I feel stronger.”

Mary, originally from Galway, is one of many students who had to juggle many responsibilities while taking the course.  She works seven days a week as a Home Health Aide and is a mother of two. For Mary, the decision to do both, albeit a difficult one, was well worth it.  “I wanted to be a role model for my teenage son and daughter. I wanted them to see that it’s important to work hard in life and not give up.”

Many congratulations once again to our graduates and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.  The IIIC would also like to thank the Timothy Smith Network and Broadband USA for their sponsorship of the program, and instructor Chris Tegmo, Berlange Gauthier, Ann Marie Cugno, Danielle Owen and Rebecca Amoah for all their support.

The IIIC is accepting applications for the Spring 2013 session computer skills and career advancement course.  If interested, contact Rebecca Amoah at ramoah@iicenter.org or call 617-542-7654, ext. 30.  Classes start January 22, 2013.