For Immediate Release

People for Change Coalition  

The PFC Coalition was pleased to form a great partnership with the Dorchester Career and Technology Center (DCTC). The Summer Career Enrichment Program (SCEP) was an 8-week pilot program for 100 middle school students in partnership with the People for Change Coalition, Mid-Shore Regional Council, PFC Black Chamber of Commerce, Dorchester Career and Technology Center (DCTC) and North Dorchester Middle School during the summer of 2021. 

Virtual meetings were held in June with the PFC Coalition, PFC Black Chamber of Commerce, DCTC, Mid-Shore Regional Council and the North Dorchester Middle School staff to discuss various program options. The goal was to find creative ways to fund the program through grants, sponsorship, and in-kind support.

The program successfully launched on June 21, 2021, after the PFC Coalition was quickly able to identify instructors through partnerships from our members from Black Cyber Security Association, Blue Cheetah, Strategic Technology & Solution, and the Tri-County Chess Corner.

The SCEP provided a unique public, private partnership with nonprofit, education, business, and community partners. The program was designed to target middle school students and students of color in the rural part of the state of Maryland while exposing them to career options that are of high wage and are in high demand.

The SCEP effectively changed the lives of students in the rural tier by exposing them to hands-on activities, career professionals and entrepreneurs, while helping to boost their confidence level, self-esteem, interaction with peers, and critical thinking.

Each program had a 2-week track, accommodating 10-12 students. The programs ran from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and had an instructional assistant from Dorchester School System in each class.

Students participated in programs and hands-on activities where they learned skills in requirements gathering, working on teams, delivering presentations, interviewing techniques, time management, strategy, project management, leadership development, and problem solving.

Also, students were able to hear directly from career professionals in technology, engineering, cybersecurity, finance, media, and developed projects that engaged small business owners, the nonprofit sector, and the educational system.

Through each program, strategies were incorporated to teach these students on how to become an entrepreneur and the requisite skills needed to start a business. 

The Youth Cyber Security Program focused on the basic competencies of cybersecurity. This included understanding threats, hacking, network security, working with viruses, and how to stay safe online. 

Exposure to various cybersecurity career paths including security intelligence, financial and risk analysis, cyber security analysis, systems engineering, networking engineering, and software development were all included in this program.

The students also took part in a variety of hands-on activities which included taking apart and rebuilding 10 PCs. 

This was completed as the students were separated into teams. So not only were they exposed to the process of taking apart and building a PC, but they were also exposed to the process of working in groups and having each member of the group fulfill their role to reach a goal.

Local cyber security network companies talked to the students about networks and enlightened them on the type of great jobs and opportunities they could receive with this type of training. 

This was vital because often students of color from the rural part of Maryland are not exposed to career opportunities of this magnitude.

The Successful Teens Database Design program provided hands-on skills in database design, programming and reporting using Microsoft Access, a software many of the students had never used.

The students were enlightened and enriched on various database design career paths including computer information systems, programming, computer science, nonprofit sector, and business management.

Over the course of the 2-week program the students were tasked with designing seven different databases. This included two educational, three nonprofit, and two business databases. By designing these different types of databases, the students were enriched in a wide variety of database design.

Local small businesses and nonprofits were interviewed by the students, and this is what the foundation of their business of nonprofit databases were built on.

The Making the Right Moves (MTRM) chess immersion program helped students link the strategy and planning required in the game of chess with real life and use of critical thinking. Based on the student’s backgrounds, this was the first time many of them took part and were taught the game of chess.

Through the game of chess, the students were exposed to a variety of skills including critical thinking, problem solving, project management and engineering. By learning these skills through the game of chess, the students were taught life lessons that will undoubtedly help them in the future. 

Some of the lessons included in learning chess are teaching you to make the right move from the start, to not let your emotions guide your actions, to make sacrifices, and to take action and attack.

At the end of the program, the students were able to put their chess skills to the test and compete in three chess tournaments. An award was given to each student who competed in the tournament.

The Mighty Youth TV Production (MYTVM) media art and training program exposed students to the world of video production. They were enriched on camera operation, interviewing techniques, sound-set up, lighting and editing techniques using Adobe Premiere Pro, a software that these students had never used before. 

Exposure to various media career paths including TV/Film Production Specialization, audio visual specialization, media specialization, and videography were key aspects of the program.

The students were also presented with the opportunity to perform five interviews and edit 5 videos in their new studio room. With that came the great chance for them to interview the Superintendent of Dorchester Public Schools.

About People for Change Coalition (PFC Coalition): The PFC Coalition is a membership organization representing over 300 nonprofits and minority businesses in Prince George’s County, Southern Maryland, and throughout the state of Maryland. Incorporated in November 2011, our mission is to develop the nonprofit and minority business sector assessment, support, and expansion services. We do this thru outreach, education, and training. For more information visit www.pfccoalition.org or call 301-772-1552.

About Dorchester County Career and Technology Center (DCTC): The DCTC is the county’s lead entity committed to providing a high quality, safe, and inclusive learning environment in STEM that produces college and career ready citizens. They do this in partnership with the Dorchester County School System, parents, and community.

Special Thanks: A special thanks would like to be given out to our sponsors, BBT-Truist Bank, PNC Bank, Rural Maryland Council, Mid-Shore Regional Council, Dorchester County Career Technology Center, and Dorchester County Public Schools.