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DHS Chief Information Officer Hosted a Taste of Technology Event

April 11, 2019

Contact: Katherine Morris
katherine.morris@maryland.gov

DHS Chief Information Officer Hosted a Taste of Technology Event

150 Youth and Parents Introduced to Digital Opportunities

BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD — Aware of the importance of STEM education, the Maryland Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Chief Information Officer, Kenyatta Powers, wanted to bring that knowledge to the community. Influenced by her niece’s unexpected passion for technology, and her personal connection to technology, Powers used her expertise and contacts to organize the Taste of Technology as a free event to bridge the awareness gap between limited tech knowledge and technological independence.

The four-hour event allowed youth to explore the world of computer science, get hands-on experience, and learn about the many types of career paths available in technology. Attendees participated in workshops such as “Build PC”, “Cyber Security”, and “Girls Who Code.” The instructors introduced skills to build foundations, app ideation and debugging computers.

“I was overwhelmed with the participation, as we had over 100 youth and 50 parents participate,” said Chief Information Officer, Kenyatta Powers. “Parents and kids were happy.”  Each youth left the event with increased knowledge and backpacks loaded with gift-cards, pens, and branded wristband accessories.

“We could not have done it without the overwhelming support from our partners who donated their time and services,” said Powers.

Over forty volunteers, sponsors, and DHS staff helped make the Taste of Technology event a big success. Sponsors included Pipeline 2 Passion; Mount Calvary A.M.E. Community Development Corporation; Eminent Solutions; In4structures; Manage, Deliver, Confidence, Results (MDCR); and Vision Strategic Marketing (VSM). DHS Office of Technology Human Services employees were also readily available on-site to assist with setting up and troubleshooting the computer labs.

Taste of Technology highlighted the importance of inclusion and diversity in computer science jobs and school programs. Powers reflected; “ too many Maryland youth and young adults lack technical knowledge or attend schools that do not offer technology courses.”

In an effort to close the technology gap,  Maryland has increased efforts to expand technology in schools with Maryland House Bill 281 which will require public high schools to offer at least one high-quality computer science course beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.

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Filed in: DHS News, Events

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