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A New Day For the Next Generation of Tech Leaders in Canada

NPower_Canada_StephanieCuskleyCEO_thumbThis post written by guest blogger Stephanie Cuskley, CEO of NPower

Today marks the first day of NPower Canada’s Technology Service Corps (TSC) class in Toronto, Canada, a program that will provide underserved youth with proven, no-cost training for skilled, in-demand information technology (IT) jobs.

As the CEO of NPower, Inc., the U.S.-based nonprofit that developed the TSC program, I am extremely proud to announce this expansion and I want to thank Cisco for being a part of the group of partners that made it possible.

NPower was founded in the United States in 2000, and since then has provided individuals, nonprofits, and schools access and opportunity to build tech skills and achieve their potential. The TSC program is one of NPower’s signature programs and to date has served over 1200 young adults and veterans, with more than 80% of alumni being employed or pursuing higher education within 1 year of graduation.

A TSC class in New York City

Daniel White, Tishaya Ervin, Dina Razafy and Alexander Mendez, Technology Service Corps New York, Class 31 in Harlem

When someone from Cisco Canada called my office one morning and alerted me to the fact that youth unemployment in Toronto stands among the highest in the country, with nearly a quarter of jobless youth reporting that their biggest barrier to employment is a lack of marketable skills, I knew there was no question we had to expand north of the border.

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#EngineersUnplugged S6|Ep1: Behind the Scenes with Cisco Networking Academy

July 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm PST

Welcome back! In the season premiere of Engineers Unplugged, Roving Reporter Tom Hollingsworth (@networkingnerd) talks to Cisco Networking Academy Dream Team Member Tylor Kytasaari (@TylorKytasaari) about network topology and what it takes to keep the bandwidth flowing at an event the size of Cisco Live US! Great tech talk with a side of practical information.

If you would like to become Internet Famous, and strut your unicorn talents, join us for our next filming session at VMworld 2014. Tweet me for details!

This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Join the behind the scenes by liking Engineers Unplugged on Facebook.

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Special Needs School Uses Technology to Prepare Students for the Future

January 28, 2014 at 7:50 am PST

Berkshire Union Free School District (UFSD) isn’t your typical educational facility. It is located in Canaan, NY where poverty rates are over 90% and 85% of its students have special needs. Berkshire USFD provides an education to young men, ages 12-18, who have been classified as emotionally or learning disabled and have been unsuccessful at their local district due to poverty or a failed educational experience.

Although Berkshire UFSD is a specialized school, it is held to the same retention and graduation standards as other public schools. They realized that, in order to create an impactful program, they were going to need some assistance.

The Challenge

  • Offer education alternatives for at-risk students
  • Train special education students with technology
  • Improve graduation rates
  • Increase entry-level job acceptance for special education students

With these challenges in mind paired with about a year of research, Berkshire UFSD invested in the Cisco® Networking Academy. The Network Academy is Cisco’s largest corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. It, partnered with organizations to provide a digital learning environment for students.

The Solution

  • Prepare teacher with training to introduce new IT courses
  • Certify students with IT training programs
  • Implement job training rather than simple traditional education

Following the installation of Networking Academy, 100% of Berkshire UFSD’s students participating in the program passed the IT Essentials course, and had an 85% pass rate for online exams.

With support from the student’s families and the community, the school plans to expand the program to give additional students the opportunity to become college or career-ready in the field of technology.

“We learn every day from our challenges and our successes. The Cisco Networking Academy has given us one more tool to assist our students in becoming contributing members of society.” --  Bruce Potter, Berkshire UFSD superintendent

Read the entire case study on Berkshire UFSD, and let us know how your school is using technology to meet student needs.

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#ExecInsights: Global Millennials, Don’t Wait for Global Solutions

If you rely on government to solve your problems, you will wait a long time. That’s what I told 600 youth delegates from around the world (and some 4,000 more online) at the “Beyond 2015: Global Youth Summit” in San José, Costa Rica, a couple of weeks ago.

Howard onstage during a panel at BYND 2015 summit.

Howard onstage during a panel at BYND 2015 summit.

The ITU brought these young leaders together to hammer out recommendations that President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica will present to the United Nations General Assembly in New York by the end of September. The hope is to influence the priorities of global leaders and decision-makers as the U.N. sets the agenda for sustainable development.

The day I was there, the delegates talked about Internet access as a basic human right, getting a smart device to every child, making the Internet safer, and choking off Internet-enabled child pornography. They’re asking the U.N. for flexible, dynamic, and open government; broadly available information communication technology to support sustainable development goals; and education that equips students with “a practical mix of marketable, innovative and relevant skills needed to compete in the global, digital economy.”

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A Half Million Likes on Facebook: Cisco Networking Academy Uses Social Media to Engage and Educate

Hilal_ChoumanThis post was written by Hilal Chouman, social media strategist for Cisco Networking Academy

Since late 2009, Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad), one of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs, has been present on various social media networks. The earliest presence was on the rising social network of that time: Facebook.

In late 2010, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit its first 100,000 likes. After this milestone, the Facebook page continued its growth, following the growth of the number of students in the NetAcad program.

Today, NetAcad’s Facebook page hit a half million likes (fans).

Cisco Networking Academy 500K Fans

It is amazing how a social presence can accelerate in content and size, as soon as it grasps the right connection with the audience.

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