Computer Mentors December '16 Newsletter
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January 2017 eNewsletter
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year everyone,

And wow, this year is off to a very quick start!  In the first week of the year we received a call from Citi with the news of an agreement to host a recycling drive on our behalf within their local offices.  For the campaign, which began on January 17th, they are collecting mobile devices, phones, tablets, laptops.  The items are being collected in bins provided by our recycling partner Quicksilver Recycling.  Quicksilver will be handling data destruction to clear any memory on any of the devices we receive.  The timing is absolutely perfect, as we know that people are transitioning from some of their older devices into new devices received for Christmas.

Citi, as you may be aware, is one of my favorite supporters.  Of course I may be a little partial as Citi was my last employer prior to becoming full-time director for Computer Mentors, and is where I was employed when Computer Mentors began some 20 years ago. Citi is hosting the collection campaign in three (3) local Citi offices, making it available to all local Citi employees, and will run the campaign through the rest of the month.

If you are not a Citi employee but would still like to participate, we’d love to have you bring your items to our office on MLK Blvd.  Please reply to this email and you’ll be provided specific instructions.
L-R  Ralph Smith (CMG), Kristen Laramore (Citi), Jeremy Shirley (Citi), and Jim Lawler (Quicksilver)
The Year-end Numbers Are In!

The year-end numbers are in and our annual report is almost ready, but we can already tell you that we had a FANTASTIC year!  Last year we were able to provide services and programs for 778 youth.  This includes the numbers from all three of our programs including KidsCode, STEM Corps (now renamed to TEEN-Tech), and the Teen Business Challenge.  Of those, KidsCode has emerged as our runaway largest program in terms of number of students.  In 2016 we provided the KidsCode program to 560 late elementary and middle school aged youth.  This has far exceeded anything like we’ve been able to accomplish in the past.  But we also set records in our teen program.  Last year 198 high school aged youth enrolled in STEM Corps, a new all-time program record as well.

But we would be remiss if we did not share our secret for success in 2016, which was partnering with other organizations.  2016 was a huge year of community partnerships.  Having community partners has allowed us to extend our footprint throughout the greater Hillsborough County area and now, in a few instances, even in to Pinellas County.  In 2016 we partnered in a significant way with at least 17 agencies and 22 separate locations.  Here is the list, along with any sponsoring agency that was involved to make this a possibility.  Thank you to our awesome partners.

  • Bethesda Ministries through Children’s Board summer funding
    • Allen Temple AME Church
    • Upward Kids
    • Kids With a Call
    • Kings Forest
    • Mt. Carmel AME Church
  • Brandon Recreation Center
  • Centre for Girls
  • Girls Inc.of Pinellas
  • Hillsborough County Libraries
    • C. Blythe Andrews Library (East Tampa)
    • Robert Saunders Library (Tampa Heights)
    • Seminole Heights Library
    • South Shore Regional Library (Ruskin)
    • Temple Terrace Library
    • The “Hive” at John F. Germany Library (Downtown)
  • IT Women of Tampa Bay, Inc
  • Learn Tampa Bay – Plant City – Through Children’s Board Summer Funding
  • Memorial Middle School – With the After-School All-Stars Program
  • Middleton High School FBLA with Mr. Olutayo Akinrefon
  • Tampa Bay Heat (Home School Program)
  • University Preparatory Academy – St. Petersburg
  • West University Charter High School
  • Sligh Middle School - East Tampa YMCA
  • Sulphur Springs YMCA
Also I would like to mention here that many of our partners are receiving funding from Children's Board of Hillsborough County, which also happens to currently be our largest sponsor.
Congratulations to Our Youth!
Pictured: Steven Fisher, Javier Harris, and Patrick Lester pose with their Second Place trophy for Digi-Sale, a digital yard sale platform for mobile devices.
In September Computer Mentors partnered with Mr. Olutayo Akinrefon and Middleton High School’s FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) to provide mentoring to teens as they prepare for FBLA competitions in Web Design, Mobile App Development, and Video Production.  FBLA prepares students for careers in business and business-related fields.  Each year FBLA puts on a series of competitive events that engage the youth in developing projects and public speaking.
The District Leadership Conference was January 23rd at USF Embassy, where students from all over the district attended to hear the results of their competition.  As our first year partnered with FBLA, we are proud to announce Middleton High School’s mobile app teams were awarded 1st and 2nd place.  The Mobile App teams are mentored by CMG employee Chris Willingham.  One of our Digital Video Production teams took 2nd place, which is a new record for Middleton High School’s FBLA.  James Rock, CMG employee and Middleton High School alumni, mentors the Digital Video Production and Public Service Announcement teams.  Next, these three teams will prepare their projects for the State Leadership Competition March 23-26 at Hilton in Orlando.
For the students who did not move on to State Competition, the road doesn’t end here.  Next, these students will focus on obtaining the Microsoft Technology Associate Certification, where they gain skills in C# Software Development, HTML5 Web Application Development, Networking, Security, Server, Cloud, and more!
Programming Updates for 2017
Please enjoy the video referencing the new TeenTech program..
2017 Teen Business Challenge

Don’t forget to get your youth enrolled in the 4th Annual Teen Business Challenge event.  This year’s event will feature the teens creating a small app to go with their business idea.  All participants will receive a Windows 10 tablet computer with keyboard and each member of the winning team will receive a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with keyboard, a more than $1,000 value.

Volunteers and students are encouraged to register at  There are still lots of volunteer opportunities as well as openings for youth.  Deadline to enroll is Feb. 1, 2017.
Thanks to our Sponsors!
Copyright © 2017 Computer Mentors Group, All rights reserved.

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