Dillard University Press Release
(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – On Saturday, May 29, twenty young African American males in Central City will participate in a culminating exercise that marks the completion of a 12-week pre-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Program. The event will begin at 10 a.m. in Lawless Memorial Chapel on Dillard’s campus.
The program is the result of a partnership with Dillard University and “You Do Matter” with funding provided by the City of New Orleans’ Edward Wisner Donation Fund and LSU Health Sciences Center – Minority Health Disparities. The 12-week computer technology program provided participating youth with basic skills of understanding the future direction of technology. “This opportunity opens doors for young scholars to become instrumental in the design and assembly of computers, rather than the traditional end user,” said Nick Harris, director for Dillard’s Office of Community Relations.
“Many of these young males are from single-parent families with mostly mothers,” said Harris.
“We chose Central City because there’s a great need for this type of program that will expose youth to technology in a different way and give them something to do on Saturdays that could lead to a career,” Harris added. When the program was first introduced there was an overwhelming interest and they tried to accommodate as many students as possible, according to Harris. “We didn’t want to turn anyone away,” he said.
Josh Williams, a 1991 computer science graduate of Dillard and coordinator for “You Do Matter” at New Hope Baptist Church’s Technology Center, is committed to giving back by teaching males ages five to twenty-one about technology and how to put computers together. “Instructors come from corporations, businesses and the college community,” Williams said. He noted that most are volunteers who are excited to teach youth something they generally don’t get in the classroom.
Harris reiterated that the response to the program has been so overwhelming that a 10-week summer program is scheduled to begin June 10.
For more information regarding “You Do Matter” and the computer instructional program call Nick Harris at 504.816.4704.