Community Technology Empowerment Project

St Paul, MN

The AmeriCorps Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) bridges the “digital divide” for recent immigrants and low-income communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. AmeriCorps members help youth and adults use technology to better access social, civic, educational and economic opportunities.

The primary goal of this project is to help partner agencies utilize their existing community technology resources to better serve the needs of both youth and adults within their local neighborhoods, especially new immigrant, low-income residents and persons with disabilities.

A secondary goal is teach agency staff, volunteers and visitors how to use new technologies (including digital video and web) in order to help their constituents connect with existing civic, social service and community resources.

Additionally, all AmeriCorps CTEP members are required to mobilize volunteers at their host sites, participate in member development activities, and learn about civic engagement during their service year.

Supported Projects


Roxanne Johnson

The AmeriCorps VISTA (Leader) for C-CAN will provide support for our current CTEP AmeriCorps members, helping to develop and coordinate youth media literacy and production projects at the local CTCs currently in our CTEP AmeriCorps program.

The CTEP project serves over 20 CTCs with our 25 full-time AmeriCorps members, and all of these host sites serve low income and new immigrant youth. Media programming is in high demand, and the CTCNet VISTA member will be charged with developing specific trainings and workshops for CTEP Members and CTC staff.

CTCnet VISTA position will work closely with former CTCNet VISTA Jeff Streier, on website, newsletter and other e-media materials that support the work of CTEP AmeriCorps members.

The Member’s work will also include helping to create partnerships with other local youth media organizations as well, and work to develop partership opportunties between our CTC community and the media arts community in the Twin Cities.

Roxanne helped plan and deliver the member acceptance letters, handbook, and Pre-Service Orientation. She has answered many questions from the members on many topics related to their service, thus setting them up to accomplish our mission. This includes 6 one-on-one, more in depth check ins with members, one regarding youth media. She has helped plan and facilitate Corps Days where AmeriCorps Members participate in formal and informal training, speakers, workshops, field trips, etc. She has prepared and delivered media literacy training with 2 AmeriCorps CTEP members for the statewide MLK Day AmeriCorps conference. She and two AmeriCorps CTEP members prepared and delivered a technology literacy workshop for the All VISTA Conference (which she also helped coordinate with MN VISTA Leaders). She has also moderated our online message board, created her own blog and encouraged member blogging. Finally, she has been the advisor to two CTEP member committees, media and communications.

Roxanne has contributed to the ability of three CTEP sites to move beyond the “tech center as babysitter” mentality by assisting them to use technology resources to give youth a voice via digital media. At SPNN, she has lent her media literacy mentoring to the youth department where teens are creating a TV program for a teen audience. At the YWCA, she and Ken nelson provided a video submission opportunity to the staff and youth, and provided them with the curriculum, which allowed the youth to complete a video to submit. At Intermedia Arts, she has assisted in the identification and securing of hardware and software to implement a digital media center, and complimented this with assisting in the curriculum development and program planning.

Transmission Project