Zeinab Elbeshir has a lot to be proud of. The Dearborn teen is great with computers, helps out in her community, and has a possible future career in technology to look forward to. And it's all thanks to the Digital Connectors program.
Elbeshir is one of 20 Dearborn-area high school students from diverse and low-income backgrounds who have learned both digital, and life skills through the program at in Dearborn.
The students were honored at ACCESS on Friday in a graduation ceremony, where they celebrated their accomplishments, as well as received laptops and digital cameras from Comcast.
"Giving back is what we're all about at Comcast," said Michigan Comcast Regional Community Affairs Manager Maria Holmes, who oversees the program. "This is just one of the programs that allows us to do that."
Now in its third year, Digital Connections is a program of Comcast that teaches young adults computer and Internet skills, as well as encourages them to get involved in their communities. But this goes far beyond email and Google.
Students meet twice a week to learn things like how to network computer labs, design computer training modules and create social media projects. They learn about financial management, entrepreneurship and civic engagement.
But the real work comes when students are expected to take what they learned and volunteer 52 hours of their time at local programs, centers and events to help improve digital literacy in their community.
"Usually, when you think of Comcast, you think of technology," explained ACCES Youth and Education Director Anisa Sahoubah of the Digical Connectors program. "This is a lot more than that."
Elheshir said she was most proud of knowing that she and the other program graduates now have the opportunity to help teach digital skills to their families and communities.
"As a graduating Digital Connectors student, I have learned many things," Elbeshir said. "This program instills pride knowing we have made a difference in our community.
"My experience has been profound."
Learn more about the Digital Connections program at www.connectorsclub.org.