Defying the Odds: Chester Eastside’s new Technology Training Program

Technology TrainingThese days, expertise in digital technology is becoming a necessity for anyone wanting to rise to the top in just about any field. And now Chester Eastside, Inc., is launching a program to help Chester youth do exactly that. Through CEI’s new Technology Training Program, two students at Chester High School’s STEM Academy, Kashawn Butler and Raquan Fisher, will be learning everything from programming and system administration to 3-D printing. 
“The media are full of news about the odds stacked against Chester youth,” said CEI Executive Rev. Zuline Wilkinson. “Here is some good news about how they’re defying the odds.”
Helping Kashawn and Raquan master the digital technology will be a crew of experienced mentors, all of whom are donating their time to the endeavor.  “We know computers but we’re not professional educators,” says Alan Levi, who runs his own Swarthmore-based consulting firm, “so it will be a learning experience for us as well.” 
Not the only ones who will benefit from the experience. The young interns will eventually be passing their knowledge on to other youth in the CEI After School Program and in high school. 
CEI Board President John Mackey likened the project to a Sequoia tree, which starts out as a tiny seed and emerges as a 375-foot-tall giant. “The top of the tree may sway in the wind, but the roots hold it firmly to the ground. We are all those roots,” he added, gesturing to the group that had gathered for the launching at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, home of CEI. They in turn assured him and themselves that “Yes we will.” 
Chester Eastside is partnering with the STEM Academy in putting on the Technical Training Program. More than a dozen individuals and organizations have lent their support to the endeavor. 
For more information about how to support the Technology Training Program and other programs and services offered through Chester Eastside, contact: Tonya D. Warren at 610-872-4812 or via email at

By timmreardon