career development

Youth Program Outreach

VISTA Name: 
Davina Fournier
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

The VISTA member will perform a variety of tasks related to program development.

First, the VISTA member will be responsible for student recruitment. This will include creating recruitment materials and a strategy that will encourage more students to join our program. Possible duties will include developing relationships with area schools and public housing communities in the search for students, and organizing student recruitment events both at our computer lab and off-site.

Second, the VISTA member will assist in the development and launching a new program, Grad Central, within Computers4Kids. Distinct from the nine-month Technology Gateways program, Grad Central will be dedicated to Technology Gateways graduates, who tend to be older, are at a higher computer skill level, and have different needs as they prepare for college and careers than Gateways students. The VISTA member will research and develop project ideas for Grad Central, create curriculum for daily activities and ongoing projects, and identify and recruit community members who will be instrumental in achieving the goals of the program (e.g. SAT-prep teachers, career counselors, job shadowing partners, etc.).

Third, we would like our new VISTA to pick up where our previous member left off in regards to student workshops. A major responsibility of our previous VISTA member was to develop workshops for our students on a variety of technology topics. We now have an extensive library of workshop curricula, yet no one to lead the workshops. We would like our VISTA member to recruit enough volunteer workshop leaders to hold several student workshops a month.

Project Outcome: 

With regard to student recruitment, Davina developed a brochure and created a calendar/plan for student recruitment. The plan identifies events where we might canvas for students, identifies contacts, who attends, and whether the event was a useful recruitment event. In addition, it includes action steps for non-event related recruitment opportunities. Davina also added recruitment contacts to our database and created materials for the student recruitment display board.

The Grad Cenetral program did not get started until mid April so we did not ask Davina to work on this.

Davina scheduled 29 student and mentor workshops (more than our goal) and identified volunteers to lead all workshops. This is a tremendous help to staff as they do not have time to lead the workshops and in prior years we were able to offer fewer workshops because of this.

Davina became our tech wizard. She maintained the computers in the learning labs. She also did a lot of work on our website, including creating PHP forms which allowed us to create forms that aid in our ability to collect data for evaluating purposes. She also created applications that made it easy for volunteers to sign up to volunteer and report tech issues.

Other forms allow us to see what our students have done in the lab each day – something that has been missing from our program – and will be helpful in planning and securing future funding. Davina also taught herself captcha which added security to our web based forms. Davina mostly worked independently on these tasks but sought staff input when necessary. She worked most closely with Dolly Joseph, our Program Director.

Impact Quote: 

Davina began working with Computers4Kids at the same time all the staff was new (except ED). There was a lot going on–with everyone learning the ropes–and her ability to observe, recognize and jump in where help was needed and greatly appreciated. The systems she put in place will be used by staff for years to come.”
- Kala Somerville, supervisor

South By Southwest

March 12, 2010 - March 21, 2010
Austin, TX

Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences. Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. Austin serves as the perfect backdrop for SXSW, where career development flourishes amid the relaxed atmosphere.

Transmission Project