Student capacity builders coming to NpDev Summit!
Understanding the potency of student energy, the Everett Program channels student's passions in social justice, sustainability, and technology into community-based service learning projects. Thomas Gelder, Associate Director of Technology, explains how the program supports students over their year-long tenure:
"In the fall, we get this big crop of college students who are very passionate about changing the world... but when you're a young student, [changing the world] is kind of a nebulous thing—things like "solve hunger" are kind of abstract. We show them how to break these things down into micro-level issues, and then seek out NGOs and nonprofit orgs working in that area. We then encourage them and coach them in linking up with those organizations, so that they can find a partner. In winter, we do project design to explore how they can intern with orgs or do a project as they're assisting."
Take a look at the program's curriculum. Students explore grant writing, project proposals, and the information and communications technology landscape, in preparation for on-the-ground work with NGO's and nonprofits. Complementary to this are Thursday Tech Labs where they can learn about tools that are in high need among nonprofits they'll likely work with (e.g., web development, database management, newsletter software).
Everett students strive to bring appropriate technology to communities by first exploring the needs of the folks they'll work with, emphasizing user-needs over tools. Through their projects with social justice and sustainability organizations, they act as capacity-builders, sharing and teaching the technology skills gathered at UCSC.
We're grateful to have them at #Npdev Summit mingling with other techies and activists. So say what's up to them in Oakland on Nov 17-19. Make friends. Bring new faces into the network, and exchange best practices and experiences in nonprofit technology.