Empower Tech Initiative

Empower Tech Initiative (ETI)

In the digital age, technology has emerged as a prominent and influential sector, shaping the economy, influencing societal norms, and determining global progress. However, a vast portion of society, particularly minorities, immigrants, and the disenfranchised, find themselves on the periphery, either due to lack of access, resources, or awareness. The Empower Tech Initiative aims to bridge this gap by offering tuition-free training in Information Technology (IT) and cybersecurity to these underserved communities.

Globally, there's an increasing demand for skilled IT and cybersecurity professionals. Yet, minorities, immigrants, and disenfranchised individuals often lack the avenues to venture into these fields. Barriers such as high tuition fees, cultural stigma, and lack of access to quality education have resulted in a stark underrepresentation of these groups in tech sectors.

Objectives

Inclusivity in Tech

To enhance diversity in the IT and cybersecurity sectors by providing accessible training opportunities.

Skill Development

To equip participants with industry-relevant skills that lead to meaningful employment.

Community Building

To foster a supportive community where alumni can mentor new participants, ensuring sustained growth and learning.

Duration

The training program spans 8 weeks and consists of intensive modules in IT fundamentals, programming, network management, and cybersecurity essentials.

Eligibility

Minorities, immigrants, and disenfranchised individuals aged 18 and above with a high school diploma or equivalent. Preference is given to those with a demonstrated financial need.

Facilities

State-of-the-art labs, online access to resources, mentorship opportunities, and career counseling.

Certification

Upon successful completion, participants receive a certification, recognized by leading tech firms, enhancing their employability.

Cohort

The program will be conducted in groups of 15 over an 8-week period and will attempt to target 150 students per year graduating with a Certificate in Cybersecurity.

Official training provides

  • 8 hours of live instruction
  • 6 hours of self-paced content in preparation for live sessions
  • Peer discussions
  • Pre- and post-course assessments
  • Knowledge checks and end-of-chapter study sheets and quizzes
  • Online interactive flashcards
  • 180-day access to recorded live sessions and self-paced content
Pinnacle Learning Centres Inc.

Eligibility Requirements

Christopher Nelson Executive Director MBA, CISSP, ITIL, PMP, CSPO

Christopher Nelson is the founder and CEO, responsible for managing all day-to-day activities of the ETI, including coordinating the work of the teachers and coordinators. He is a cybersecurity professional, renowned author, and global educator. With over fifteen years of specialized experience in the cybersecurity industry, he has developed a reputation for his relentless pursuit of technological advancement, the protection of confidential information, and the advancement of cybersecurity literacy on a global scale.

His expertise and dedication have seen him become an influential voice in the industry, leading him to author numerous highly regarded books. These include “Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and You,” "First Line of Defense: The Beginners Book of Cybersecurity," and "Ethics in the Workplace: Special Cybersecurity Edition”.

In 2018, recognizing a need for better cybersecurity education, Christopher founded Cybersecurity for Everyone (CFE), an organization dedicated to raising cybersecurity awareness and providing education around the world. Through his work with CFE, he has delivered lectures and workshops globally, providing key cybersecurity training to corporations and individuals alike.

  1. Age Requirement:

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of application submission.

  1. Educational Background:

Possession of a high school diploma or its equivalent (e.g., GED, TASC, HiSET). Proof can be in the form of a transcript, a copy of the diploma, or equivalent certification.

  1. Ethnic and Social Status:
  • Minorities: Individuals who belong to racial, ethnic, or religious groups that are underrepresented in the IT and cybersecurity sectors.
  • Proof might be required through self-declaration, government census data, or community attestations.
  • Immigrants: Non-native individuals who have moved to the country for reasons of work, study, or refuge.
  • Applicants might need to present residency papers, immigrant status documentation, or other pertinent legal paperwork.
  • Disenfranchised Individuals: Those who have been deprived of rights or privileges, especially the right to vote, or those marginalized from mainstream society.
  • This can be more subjective, so self-declaration, letters of recommendation, or community attestations can be useful.
  • Financial Need: Preference will be given to applicants demonstrating significant financial need.

This can be ascertained through:

  • Income Statements: Recent tax returns or wage statements can serve as proof of household income.
  • Unemployment Verification: For those currently unemployed.
  • Scholarship or Financial Aid History: Previous acceptance of financial aid, scholarships, or grants based on need can indicate financial hardship.
  • Personal Statement: A written statement detailing financial struggles, challenges faced, and reasons for seeking financial preference.
  • Recommendations: Letters from community leaders, teachers, or social workers vouching for the financial condition of the applicant.
  1. Additional Considerations (if applicable):
  • Language Proficiency: If the course is being conducted in a language other than the applicant's native language, proof of proficiency might be required, such as TOEFL or IELTS scores for English.
  • Passion for Technology: Though not a strict requirement, a brief personal statement or essay on why the applicant is interested in IT and cybersecurity can be beneficial. This demonstrates dedication and a genuine interest in the field.
  • Prior Experience: Any previous courses, workshops, or informal experiences related to IT can be a plus, but they are not mandatory. This is to ensure those with a foundational interest or slight experience are not discouraged from applying.
  1. Background Check (if necessary):
  • Given that cybersecurity can involve handling sensitive information, some programs might require a basic background check to ensure the safety and integrity of the training environment.