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Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders Winners Take Connections Home

The 2015 Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders Competition grand prize trip is coming to an end today, and the 17 winners will be heading home very soon. William Neumann will travel back to Brazil, Diana Polombo will fly to Colombia, and Kepei Xiang will be in China by Sunday, but the visitors will always be connected by the trip of a lifetime. Their success in the international NetRiders Competitions led them to Cisco headquarters, and their experiences in San Jose, California will change their lives forever.

The NetRiders winners took one last picture on the Cisco San Jose campus before heading home

The NetRiders winners took one last picture on the Cisco San Jose campus before heading home

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Cisco Welcomes Networking Academy NetRiders Winners to San Jose

Earlier today, students from 13 different countries met for the first time on Cisco’s San Jose campus. For some, like Odwa Yekela, the visit is a first adventure away from home in South Africa. For others, like Richard Brunner, it’s a simple two-hour drive from Sacramento, California. No matter where the 18 students came from, though, the visit is more than just a trip — it’s a life-changing experience and celebration of their achievement as global winners of the Cisco Networking Academy NetRiders Competition.

The NetRiders winners took a tour of one of Cisco's data centers on their first day in San Jose

The NetRiders winners were excited to visit the Cisco campus and learn more about potential careers in the IT field

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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

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

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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