What is the mission of Project Tech Teens?
The mission of Project Tech Teens is to provide meaningful technology skills to students, especially girls in underserved communities. We want to give students access to information, technology, education that they may not normally get. We want to educate adults on how to leverage technology to improve their socio and economical situations. We want to level the technology plating field and give students an opportunity to be positive contributors to greater society. We want to prevent students from limiting their opportunities for success. Our mission is to create the most innovative and engaging Mobile App Foundry, where students, especially girls, in underserved communities can easily learn computer programming while launching scalable and profitable businesses.
Why did you start Project Tech Teens summer boot camp program?
I started Project Tech Teens after teaching in Chicago public high schools for 12 years. I became frustrated with the number of students who were disconnected from their classroom experience. I knew students to be very interested in their mobile devices and technology, and really want to figure out a way to engage more students in their school work, through technology. I experienced years of success with teaching entrepreneurship and decided to merge the two disciplines, entrepreneurship and technology, for a more hands-on, purposeful, and engaging learning experience. The boot camp offers a solution to the “nothing for kids to do” sentiment. Not only do students have something to do, but they are preparing themselves to think more critically and to make more calculated and smarter decisions. Students build meaningful and user-friendly code, and pitch their tech solution to industry experts and investors, who care.
How will the program help students build their future careers?
If nothing else, students will leave our program a more critical thinker. Project Tech Teens prepares students for jobs that don’t yet exist. Ten years ago, consumers were not thinking about touch screen devices, smart televisions, or streaming video. Today, consumers are considering wearable devices, smart home technologies, and mobile medical tech solutions. It’s our youth, students ages 12-21, that are going to be the providers of all the new technology, and technologies that we can’t even begin to think of.
What makes a program like Project Tech Teens important to the community?
Project Tech Teens is important to the community because students develop a sense of confidence and self-worth. As long as students believe in their own abilities to add value, and see themselves as contributors to greater society, this perspective minimizes the need to commit crimes, or drop out of school. Students that participate in Project Tech Teens will become better thinkers, build innovative technologies, and increase their network by pitching their business plans to industry professionals.
How can parents learn more about the program to get their children involved?
If parents want to learn more about Project Tech Teens, they can log on to www.ProjectTechTeens.com. They can also support the Project Tech Teens crowd funding campaign, or call us at 773-451-5470.