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VSU Teen-Taught Digital Skills Program Receive Grant

By Maria- Paula

Virginia State University, an affiliate of Virginia Cooperative Extension, this week announced that it had received a grant through its 4-H program to increase its efforts in empowering certified teenagers in teaching digital skills to adults.

The National 4-H Tech Change Makers (TCM) program advances the ‘teens as teachers’ approach with young leaders mastering digital abilities to educate grown-ups. In conjunction with their 4-H instructors, the qualified teenagers use schemes of learning to instruct virtual lessons to adults back in their communities.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs, a joint platform of Virginia State University, Virginia Tech, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the state and local governments, are an equal opportunity policy entity open to all the Virginia residents. Regardless of an applicant’s status on any basis protected by law, every person can benefit from this program.

TCM is financed through a coordinated effort between Microsoft, the National 4-H Council, Verizon, Land O’ Lakes, and land-grant universities look upon reaching approximately 50,000 beneficiaries in the next 12 months.

To drive the beneficiaries to financial freedom, basic computer skills such as utilizing Microsoft Word to create and update resumes and figuring out how to securely browse through the internet are some of the training focused on the program. These skills are in turn expected to help lead the recipients to their likely employers.

Adults in their rural area networks are empowered to utilize their achieved skills and become knowledgeable to match up to the transforming digital space. Included in the program are areas closer to VSU, comprising Prince George County and the cities of Petersburg and Richmond. Two continuing communities in Charlotte and Halifax counties, as well as an expansion of 16 new communities in Amelia, Bedford, Campbell, Clarke, Gloucester, Greensville, Isle of Wight, Madison, Montgomery, Nottoway, Prince Edward, and Rockbridge counties besides the cities of Bristol, Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Salem, will benefit from the $141,000 grant.

“The program not only helps youth become leaders and adults become computer literate,” said Cooperative Extension Specialist at VSU, Dr. Chantel Wilson. “It also helps bridge the technology gap, generational gap and fosters greater collaboration between youth and adults.”

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