Monday, April 20, 2009

Student Spotlight: Cazimir (Cazzy) Ozuruigbo, Kaylin Patton, Donald Stewart and Elijah Wilson

This year, the Cabrini Connections tech club has benefited from the influx of some young and enthusiastic students, 6th and 7th graders Cazimir (Cazzy) Ozuruigbo, Kaylin Patton, Donald Stewart and Elijah Wilson. Though Kaylin heard out about our program first, he quickly spread the word to his friends and soon all 4 had joined and have had nearly 100% attendance at Tech club ever since. Over the past few months since the boys first started here at Cabrini Connections, they have learned enough HTML, which is a language used to describe web pages that web browsers such as Internet Explorer or Firefox can understand, to build their own personal websites from scratch. That is, through working with Steve and Vjeko they are learning to read and write this complex markup language used by web designers all around the world.

Though they have only been at it a few months, they have already used their knowledge to build functional websites, which contain everything from Cazzy’s Views and Rates, which allows users to watch and rate a wide variety of videos, to Donald’s site which contains videogame ratings and movie clips. At this point Elijah is working on a chatting website that is inspired by facebook. Kaylin on the other hand is more concerned with having a one-stop-shop for the best and most up-to-date videogame cheat codes. Regardless of the content, it’s clear that through their participation in our tech club, these youth are engaging with technology in a way that few other inner-city youth can. In tech club, students are closely advised by professional video game developer Steve Pawlick and our expert eLearning and Technology Coordinator Vjeko Hlede, who through one-on-one and group instruction, work with the youth to build their skills and familiarize them with principles of web design and content management systems, such as the ones used at colleges around the world. All the students agree that if it weren’t for their participation in tech club, they would not be designing their own websites or thinking about future careers in web design, a growing and very lucrative career field.

Now the students are putting their skills to use by creating a website to advertise our Annual Year-End Dinner, which will be held on June 4th at 1111 N Wells. This website will help us to maximize attendance at our year end culminating event that brings together past, present and future students, volunteers and staff along with their families for an evening of celebration and entertainment. Thanks Cazzy, Kaylin, Donald and Elijah for all your hard work and your help in making this year’s Year-End Dinner the best yet!

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