Computer Mentors help students create app, websites
EAST TAMPA - Students in the STEM Corps High School Program at Computer Mentors Group recently showcased their projects, which included the creation of the organization's first phone application. They created the app for the nonprofit group 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay, as well as creating a video, two websites and a promotional flyer and brochure for several other nonprofit organizations. Sam Dickerson, president of the 100 Black Men of Tampa Bay, attended the presentation and news conference for the student showcase. "It's fantastic. We had zero before and we have something now," he said as he walked through the computer lab at 2802 E. Martin Luther King Blvd. following the presentation.Computer Mentors Group Inc. is a "digital divide" nonprofit organization comprised of computer professionals and others interested in the future job opportunities of disadvantaged youths. Executive Director Ralph Smith said that during the four-week program, funded by the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, students had to earn a Microsoft certificate before they could begin a project. Each project had a mentor to help direct the work. Mohamed Farah, 17, a student at Hillsborough High School, produced a video for the American Diabetes Association. He was mentored by Nyjel Dukes. "I want to inspire those who are diagnosed with the disease to get help and learn to cope," he told guests at the showcase. Sandra Nelson came to the event to see her grandson's work. Kaelon Lucas lives in Atlanta but is spending the summer in Tampa. "He loved it; it was the best experience, and what he learned here he will take with him for the rest of his life," Nelson said. Lucas said the STEM program gave him more ideas and options about careers in technological fields. Other summer projects were websites for the Saturday Morning Breakfast Group and Porch Talk Radio on TV, and a flyer and brochure for the Tampa Bay chapter of the National Black Nurses Association. "We hope to perform more services for nonprofits," Smith told guests at the showcase. "It's a give-back situation." For their work, the students received awards including a laptop computer, video consoles and tables. For more information about Computer Mentors, contact Smith at RSmith@computermentors.org or (813) 236-1191. Or visit computermentors.org.