Richmond/Innsbrook Campus Steps Up for Mayor’s Youth Academy

Summer Course Offers College Credit and iPads for Students in Need

Richmond, Va. – Sometimes, all young people need is a little bit of hope, some confidence and the knowledge that there are people who care about their future. That’s what the Mayor’s Youth Academy in Richmond is all about and it’s a cause that is very dear to the faculty and staff at the ECPI Richmond/Innsbrook campus.

Since 2007, they have organized enrichment programs to work with inner-city youth. This year, the program has evolved into something quite special. Partnering with the Mayor’s Youth Academy, the campus is providing a five-week program where 25 recent high school graduates gather to participate in enrichment classes, but even more important, they attend an actual college course, CIS 107 – Computer Operating Systems, and receive three hours credit at no cost.

“We look for students who may not have a plan, but they do have potential,” says ECPI Richmond/Innsbrook Campus President Jacob Pope. “For many at-risk youth, college seems out-of-reach. This program puts them in an actual university environment where they can learn and build their confidence.”

"We are extremely pleased with the partnership between the Mayor's Youth Academy and ECPI,” Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “This partnership is an important part of our strategy to develop Richmond's future workforce while at the same time bringing additional technological resources to the City's youth.”

No doubt, the most exciting part of the experience comes on day two of the program when students receive free iPads courtesy of ECPI and Strategic Staffing Solutions. “I love computers and getting an iPad is just incredible,” says student Demari Winston. “We used to provide a kit to the students so they could build their own computers,” says Jacob Pope. “But the world is changing and mobile technology now dominates the communications landscape. We view these iPads as personal management tools they can use to propel themselves toward their own goals and aspirations.”

Among the enrichment classes offered are sessions dedicated to financial literacy taught by representatives from Junior Achievement. “Our goal is to help these young people to broaden their horizons,” says David Conrad, ECPI Richmond/Innsbrook Network Security Department Head. “It’s exciting to teach them things that are so brand new to them. It’s an exercise in exploration and, over time, it opens their eyes and helps them to realize they can chart their own life’s course and become whatever they want.”

For more information, please contact ECPI University Director of Communications David Brandt at 757.213.3613 or dbrandt@ecpi.edu.

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