Now in its 14th year, the Digital Service Fellows (DSF) is an award-winning AmeriCorps program for recent Philadelphia high school graduates interested in information technology and serving their communities. The DSF program is part of the Urban Technology Project (UTP), which empowers communities through meaningful access to technology. The DSF AmeriCorps program is a joint initiative between Communities In Schools of Philadelphia, Inc. and the School District of Philadelphia.
The DSF program fulfills its mission to empower communities through a combination of technology apprenticeship and direct service. As Digital Service Fellows learn new technology skills, they pass on these skills to students, teachers, staff and other members of their communities.
DSFs serve in the School District for a full year under the direct mentoring of I.T. professionals and learn most of their technology skills on the job. This model is a win-win for Fellows, mentors and for Philadelphia schools. DSFs learn the ins and outs of the I.T. field; mentors receive daily assistance in executing the duties of their job; and schools benefit from much needed technical support.
The on-the-job training is supplemented with training toward I.T. industry certifications, which include:
* Microsoft Digital Literacy Certification
* Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT)
* CompTIA A+ and additional certifications
* Google Apps for Education Certification
To prepare DSFs to work successfully in an I.T. environment the program provides soft skills training, and as well as enrollment in computer courses at the Community College of Philadelphia.
Service in Schools and Communities
As AmeriCorps members, the Digital Service Fellows understand the importance of providing service to their schools and communities. DSFs are given the opportunity to create and facilitate in-school and after-school technology clubs for students of all ages. These technology clubs get students excited about technology and also connect students with positive and caring role models. Throughout the year, DSFs also participate in service projects to meet a variety of community needs.
After completing their year of service DSFs each receive a $5,730.00 Segal Education Award that can be used for any accredited learning institution. Outstanding DSFs can apply for the Computer Support Specialist (CSS) Program, a PA Department of Labor registered I.T. Apprenticeship program within the Urban Technology Project. Many DSFs go on to higher education institutions and/or find meaningful work in their desired field.
To apply, visit the Digital Service Fellows Application