Hope IT is a Christian-based effort showing God’s love and hope to underserved kids in Pasadena by gaining IT/computer skills. We do this by our mindset, our people, and our structure.
God loves us: God’s love and hope is most important. Yes, education and good jobs are nice, but that is not enough. Knowing this, Hope IT reminds kids that God has been in all of our lives, in our past, right now in our present, and God intends a good future for us. All of us. That is an important message for our kids to hear, internalize, and believe that for themselves. We simply do this by praying before each of our course sessions. At the end of each session, we have a short Scriptural reflection. We also send this message in a non-verbal way, making sure our space for our courses is welcoming. We take care to make sure our students are emotionally and physically safe. Also, the pace of the topics in our courses are geared for beginners.
Goal: Our goal is for kids in Hope IT, after high school, be able to decide to go straight in to an IT job, or go to college, with a variety of technical, leadership, service skills and experiences. Read our initial ideas; they will evolve as we learn what works best.
Kids: Kids coming to Hope IT courses are the underserved. They usually do not focus on IT topics. They usually do not interact with professionals in the IT industry. Kids in Hope IT courses are coming from local churches in Northwest Pasadena, from foster group homes, or in organizations serving families experiencing homelessness, and the like. Hope IT’s aim is to start with kids between the ages of 11 or 13. The advantage of starting at a young age is give them time to gain skills and confidence. Over time, as they come to more Hope IT courses, they will gain IT skills and concepts.
Team of Volunteers: All Hope IT team members are volunteers. Most of us have many years of working in the IT industry. Bringing our knowledge and experiences, we can guide kids to learn and explore, as well as allow them to chart their own path. Our ratio of team members to kids is more that 1:1. When we had in-person courses (pre-COVID), we have more Hope IT team members than students at our courses. Now in COVID, on-line courses, we have a ratio of one or 2 instructors to 4 kids.
Courses: We have offered a number of courses, at no cost, starting back in 2018. Hope IT tries to create courses that are fun and introductions to large IT topics. We have 3 courses per school year, in October, February and June. Each course is 4 weeks, meeting on Saturday mornings, for usually 2 hours each session. Our courses have had 3 to 8 students in them. This is our main approach to allow underserved kids to gain IT and computer skills
Partnership: Hope IT highly values partnerships, with local groups and organizations, be it tutoring programs and churches, or large and small businesses and non-profits. Kids from a number of partners in the Pasadena area have attend our courses. Eventually, Hope IT look to create relationships with companies; we hope create opportunities for tours, as well as internships and jobs for kids going through our program.
Knox Support: Hope IT is supported by Knox Presbyterian Church in Pasadena. We are grateful that Knox provides rooms for our courses, liability insurance for our students and team members, background checks of our team members, and well as financial support.
Bridges: Hope IT gets a lot of support from Bridges. They are Hope IT’s fiscal sponsor, so we can receive tax-deductible donations, as well as providing us other financial services, like all the details of paying kids for their work in running courses, with all the taxes and worker compensations. Bridges also provides monthly coaching to help make Hope IT stronger and more effective. Hope IT was highlighted at Bridges’ 2021 Annual Event.