April Newsletter 2012

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The Online Newsletter from Byte Back | April, 2012

Student Success Story: Angela Stephens

Table of Contents 

By Kyle Johnson  Do you remember our very special student and volunteer Angela Stephens? If you read our  Info   Info-Bits December 2011  Part 2  edition,   edition, then you know that she was one our distinguished guest speakers at our Fall Graduation. (Click here to view the December 2011 article).  article).  

Student Success Story:  Angela Stephens 

Volunteer of The Month: Janna Sue 

Byte Back’s Winter Graduation: A Trilingual Ceremony 

Candid Photos from Byte Back’s Winter Graduation 

Partner Updates: Oromo

Picture taken December 2011– Byte Back Fall Graduation. Angela Stephens (right) with the Tasiyiwa Mapondera, Byte Back Director of Programs. 

Ms. Stephens came to us in early 2011 unemployed, and looking for new skills to make her more marketable. In less than a year, Ms. Stephens not only completed our Office Track course and IC3 (Administrative Assistant) program, she was a huge asset to Byte Back through her service as a volunteer. Ms. Stephens used her new skills to help Byte Back with fundraising activities. With her assistance, Byte Back reached more than 2,300 current and potential funders. Her efficiency really helped Byte Back in one of the busiest times of the year: fundraising season.

Her diligence and hard work has definitely paid off. She landed a full time position of employment, where she will use her new skills in operating system fundamentals, hardware, troubleshooting, Word, Excel, database fundamentals, special purpose software, presentation software, working online, and network basics. She is now a Resident Counselor specializing in male juvenile delinquents. She works for the D.C.

of Youth Rehabilitation Services salary range is 30k – 35k a yearthat with antoo, additional $250 Community Organization  Department dollars a month for medical expenses. Duringand the her graduation, Ms. Stephens affirmed she like many of 

Byte Back Keeps You Informed: Windows 8 

Save the Date for Byte Back’s 6th Annual Community Computer Day!

our successful students would become a ‘Byte Back Success Story.’ In addition, she made it a point to say that she was bound for greatness, and that she knew that she would get there with the skills she obtained from Byte Back. She made no mistake in saying so. Congratulations Ms. Angela Stephens. We will miss your smiling face around here but we wish you a successful future!  (Photo is courtesy of Kristian Whipple. www.kwhipple.com) 

 A Snap Shot of the

Volunteer Of The Th e Month: Janna Sue

Month Past  

By Kyle Johnson 

Employment Opportunities 

Born in St. Paul Minnesota, Janna Sue came into the world 2.5 months early. It is thought that because of her premature arrival she was born deaf. Janna attended the Minnesota State School for the deaf where she excelled in sports and continues to be a “sports fanatic”. After high school Janna decided to attend Gallaudet University for communication studies. At Gallaudet University all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.  

Janna Sue 

Janna is now a DC resident spending most of her days keeping fit and volunteering for Byte Back. Janna has been volunteering at Byte Back since the fall of 2011 as an assistant instructor for Byte Back’s PC for Beginners and Office Track classes in American Sign Language. At first, Janna says that she was very nervous, but now enjoys every moment of volunteering her time and knowledge. knowledge. Janna’s success as an assistant instructor has a lot to do with how she views her students; she believes they are all individuals that require different attention. Each student in the PC for Beginners and Office Track classes taught in  ASL requires tailored attention and communication. She transitions from communicating with one student who is deaf and blind to another that speaks Ethiopian (not American) Sign Language. Her tenacity and dedication has helped more than 20 students better their computer skills.

Janna says that being an assistant instructor has given her greater confidence and has inspired her to continue to help people in the future. She believes that despite all odds, her greatest accomplishment has been getting over the fear of teaching. We are very proud of you Janna Sue. Thank You!  

www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395



Byte Back’s Winter Graduation: Mayor Gray Attends A Trilingual Ceremony  By: Rebecca Stewart  

On April 5th, 2012 - Mayor Gray attended Byte Back’s first tri -lingual graduation ceremony at the Luke C. Moore Academy. Speakers addressed attendees in English, Spanish and American Sign Language. Over 100 students and their guests attended the event to celebrate the accomplishments of the IC3 (Internet Computing Core Certification), A+ Certification and Office Track (Job Readiness and Microsoft Office) students.   Mayor Gray was joined by key representatives from his administration who also made remarks including, Lisa Mallory, Director, DC Department of Employment Services; Roxana Olivas, Director, DC Office on Latino Affairs; Charles Thornton, Director, Office on Returning Citizen Affairs; Chris Tonjes, Director of Information Technology at DC Government. Students also heard from guest speaker Leah Katz Hernandez, who addressed the attendees in American Sign Language and explained the importance of giving back to the community through public service. Rebecca Barge, Director of Education at The Family Place, delivered a speech in English and Spanish, about the value of the educational opportunities Byte Back has provided for the community. In addition, she shared that several staff members at The Family Place have taken computer classes at Byte Back and she has seen firsthand how much it has improved their skills and productivity as employees. Office Track graduate Vanessa Hawkins impressed the audience with her creativity and presented her resume in a PowerPoint presentation. Iris Gomez, student speaker, spoke of her Byte Back experience and Barbara Moore, Founder of Jubilee Housing celebrated the strong, mutual partnership between Byte Back and Jubilee Housing. The icing on the cake was the special guest appearance of Mayor Vincent Gray. He delivered the keynote speech, congratulated students on their achievements, and then distributed graduation certificates. Mayor Gray spoke about the importance of computer literacy and giving all individuals an equal opportunity to succeed. One City One Hire is his latest initiative aimed at easing the hiring process for employers by partnering with the Department of Employment Services (DOES) and putting Washington, D.C. residents back to work. Mayor Gray’s speech was especially moving and left the audience inspired to face challenges they may encounter while seeking employment. The evening ended with a reception in the cafeteria complete with catered appetizers and plenty of room to mingle and celebrate students and their success.

www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395



Candid Photos from Byte Back’s Winter Graduation  To view more exclusive photos, click here 

Instructors Young Choi, Carolyn Kraemer and Cristina Moscoso pose with students from the Office Track in Spanish class  

Keynote Speaker, Mayor Vincent Gray  

Lisa Mallory, Director, DC Department of Employment Ser-

Barbara Moore, Jubilee Housing Founder  

Chris Tonjes, Director of Information Technology at DC Government  


Leah Katz Hernandez, American  Association of People with Disabilities, Youth Transitions Fellow 

Charles Thornton, Director, DC Office on Returning Citizen Affairs


Roxana Olivas, Director, DC Office on Latino Affairs


www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395

Young Choi, Volunteer Instructor  



Partner Updates: Oromo Community Organization  By: Tasiyiwa Tasiyiwa Mapondera 

The first time I entered the computer lab at Oromo Community Organization (OCO) of the Washington DC metropolitan area; empty seats lined the computer tables resting flush against opposing walls. Shiny black monitors seemed to stand at attention, anticipating the students who would soon use them to learn how to create and save documents, navigate the web, and check newly created email accounts for messages from instructors and friends.   I was pleased to learn that day, that the computers at OCO were installed by First Time Computers, a long-time Byte Back partner that has outfitted the labs at many of our partner sites. Soon, these computers would serve adult learners hailing to DC from thousands of miles across the world’s oceans in Oromia state, Ethiopia. The Oromo people who who live in Oromia state are the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia. OCO is a DC-based nonprofit whose mission is “to foster a unity of purpose and networking among the Oromo in order to support one another, and to promote the preservation, continuity and development of the Oromo language, culture and traditions.” Just a few blocks from the Takoma Metro Station, the organization provides a variety of services to its members, including employment services, self -help, social support, health education, financial literacy, as well as community building and networking, among others. When Byte Back joined forces with OCO to offer computer literacy and training to ethnic Oromo in the DC metro area, we became OCO’s nonprofit partner. The partnership was set in motion by Mrs. Telile Bayisa, one of Oromo community members who had worked with Byte Back in serving her professional capacity as Facilitator, vices for Faircliff Plaza West,closely a residential community low -income individuals in DC.   Housing Counseling Ser After a successful successf ul run of Byte B yte Back courses with her h er residents at Faircliff Plaza West, W est, Mrs. Bayisa Ba yisa introduced the staff at Byte Back to some of OCO’s leadership team including, Dr. Desta Yebassa. Mr. Gada Tune and Mr. Tsegaye Gelgelu to discuss the ways our two organizations might work together to serve the Oromo community members. Because OCO had a fully equipped computer lab in place, discussions to formalize a partnership were swift, and resulted in the launch of a PC for Beginners course in February of this year.   Needless to say, the relationship is off to a very strong start. This month Byte Back launched its second round of computer training classes at OCO, with students advancing from PC for Beginners to Office Track. The inaugural cohort of PC for Beginners students at OCO has been praised by instructors as a group of extremely eager and fast learners. I was privileged to witness their enthusiasm for learning personally when I visited with students on the last day of the PC for Beginners course in March.  When I entered OCO’s computer lab for the second time, it was a wonderful “full -circle” moment. Seven students tapped at their keyboards thoughtfully and intently as they worked through exercises in Byte Back’s typing tutorial. These students were prepping for a review of the skills they’d acquired over the previous six weeks. This “last” day of classes for “the very first” Byte Back course held at OCO, I was able to connect faces and names to the work that went into making this partnership happen.  I, and everyone at Byte Back, look forward to continuing to connect members of the Oromo community with new technology skills that will propel them toward their personal and professional goals, particularly as they continue to adjust to life in this place so far away from their place of origin, Oromia.  

www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395



Byte Back Keeps Y You ou Informed: Windows 8  By: Andrew Quilpa  It’s that time of year again: another Windows operating system is in the works. Code named “Windows 8,” it promises a bevy of new features. The most dramatic change for users of Microsoft’s previous operating systems like Windows 7 or Windows XP is in the interface. Rather than traditional icons, a task bar, and the ever ubiquitous “Start” button, the Windows 8 screen features a slick Metro-style interface similar to the one found on Windows smart phones and tablets. It is clear that designers had touch screen technology in mind. The Start button is gone; a “rolling canvas of large colored tiles” is a good way to describe the look of the Windows 8 start screen.    Among the other features promised pr omised with Windows 8:      

a new type of log -in screen with different authentication methods   integration of a ribbon toolbar in Windows Explorer   a feature called “Windows To GO” allowing users to boot Windows 8 from a USB device   native USB 3.0 support  

 A downloadable “consumer preview” is available a vailable for users who want to experience what Windows 8 might be lik like.; e.; the final precise release date has not yet been announced. The consumer preview is available at http:// windows.microsoft.com/en -US/windows -8/consumer -preview  Requirements for installation include:    

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster   Processor: 1  1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)  RAM: 1 RAM: Hard disk space: 16 space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)  Graphics card: Microsoft card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher  

Additional requirements to use certain features:   

To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch.  To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768.   To snap apps* (Snapping apps resizes the app to 320 pixels wide, which allows it to share the screen with another app. Snapping enables two apps to be visible at the same time, so the user can easily multitask), you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768. *apps = applications

We are sure that to some, these features sound foreign, but the truth is, if you use a smartphone, then you are well on your way to understanding this new operating system. Windows 8 is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2012. We are pretty sure that Microsoft will make a huge announcement upon its arrival but until then, to stay informed, check out the list of websites below. Happy tech hunting!   http://www.pcworld.com/article/229285/windows_8_what_you_need_to_know.html   www.zdnet.com/blog/computers/windows -8-beta-what-works-what-still-needs-work/7705  http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating -systems/hands-on-windows-8-review-1025259? comments_pg=2#comments   http://windows.microsoft.com/en -US/windows -8/consumer -preview?ocid=S_GOO_W8P_Google_na_EN US&semid=ef_GGL_e_d62f273bd8d6ddcae55032bc97c84023&WT.search=1  

www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395



Back’s 6th Annual Community Save the Date for Byte Back’s Computer Day!  You’re invited to Byte Byte Back’s 6th Annual Annual Community Computer Day!  We’re planning an action-packed, fun-filled schedule dedicated to computing and community.  So RSVP below, mark your calendar and start making plans to come out to Byte Back on Saturday, May 12.   hp://communitycomputerday.eventbrite.com/   hp://communitycomputerday.eventbrite.com/

 Attendees to this event will enjoy: enjo y:  Free workshops: Attend these special, one -time only sessions to discover interesting new ways to incorporate technology into your daily life.   

BBQ: Come hungry. We’ll be serving good food hot off the grill like burgers, hot dogs and ribs. We also encourage you to bring your favorite dish to share.  Activities for kids: bring the little lit tle ones and we’ll keep them entertained with a moon bounce, face -painting and other fun activities while you learn.   Prizes: be the lucky winner of one of our many raffle prizes!  

This event is open to former, current and future Byte Back students, donors, foundation representatives, family members and friends.    All are invited to learn, laugh l augh and play at our 6th  Annual   Annual Community Computer Day!   Share this event on  Facebook and Twitter   We hope you can make it!  

National Volunteer Week: A Call From President Obama  By: Joseph Lewis   Joseph Lewis, Volunteer Instructor, got the chance to participate in a conference call at the White House. His reflection:  

On Wednesday, April 11, 2012, I sported AmeriCorps gear to the White House for a conference call with Wendy Spencer, the new CEO of Corporation for National and Community Service, (AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC and SeniorCorps.) It was truly an inspiration to be present with all the people who reflect the Nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience and just plain love for communities.  Through a sign language interpreter I was able to participate in the conference call and was joined by 3,000 people across America in honor of the National Volunteer Week. It was electrifying when Ms. Spencer said, “Volunteering makes me happy… It makes a difference.” In conclusion, Ms. Spencer asked all volunteers to take a friend with them to create a service buddy system.  

Joseph Lewis, instructor  

It was even more rousing when the President of the United States joined the conference call to say hello and tell AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps members to “keep up the good work.” President Barack Obama took a moment to explain that “the FY2013 will have an increase to the Corporation National andwant Community It’sObama the right to do.” As a two-budget year AmeriCorps member, I will never forget thisfor phone call and to thankService. President forthing recognizing the value of volunteering.  

www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395



Cheers To Our Volunteers!  Byte Back’s Spring Volunteer Appreciation Reception  

By: Eleanor Grewal  On April 3, 2012 Byte Back’s spring volunteer appreciation event made it quite clear that our volunteers are Very Important People to Byte Back.   Hors d'oeuvres and drinks were served in the beautiful Bank of America Penthouse, steps from the White House, with a breathtaking view of the National Mall. Volunteers had a chance to get to know one another better, share teaching experiences, and network with board members. In reaction to the event, volunteer instructor, Katie Trizna, said, "It was really cool to meet other volunteers and share our experiences while looking outside at a spectacular view. It was a perfect night." The diversity of Byte Back’s volunteers was represented – in attendance were veteran volunteers and brand new volunteers, former students and IT professionals as well as board members.   There were instructors who have taught in each quadrant of DC and volunteers who have taught in English, Spanish and ASL. Volunteer Instructor, Griffin, said, “As an AmeriCorps instructor, I feel more connected now that I've gotten to know a bit about the behind-the-scenes people. It's exciting to be with the people who do the work to make Byte Back's program happen, by teaching, tutoring, raising money and spreading the word so Byte Back and its students can succeed.” Those same sentiments were shared amongst the crowd. In a toast to our volunteers, Director of Volunteer Services Eleanor Grewal raised her glass to thank them for all the time and energy they have devoted to Byte Back.   In addition, Executive Director Kelley Ellsworth highlighted some of their recent accomplishments. It was a night to remember and to give Cheers To Our Volunteers!   If you are  interested in becoming a Byte Back volunteer, please email Eleanor Grewal, Director of Volunteer Services Eleanor Grewal , at [email protected] or call 202 -529-3395. For exclusive photos of the event, click here. here. 


Byte Back has been selected as one of five Finalists for the 2012 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management   For the second time, Byte Back is selected as one of five Finalists for the 2012 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management, an award created by the Center for Nonprofit Advancement Advancement that recognizes an organization's organization's outstanding achievements achievements in nonprofit management.   management. The award winner is selected through a competitive process by a panel of individuals with a wide range of expertise in nonpro nonprofit fit management. The program began in 1995 and is open to all Center members and any 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the Washington metropo metropolitan litan area. The winner of The Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management receives a $10,000 cash award and a full -scholarship to Georgetown University's Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program.  Program.   In addition, up to four honorable h onorable mentions will also be recognized. Honorable mention winners each receive a $2,500 cash award. award.   The application period for the 2012 Award opened on November 1.  1.  A   A total of 48 organizations organizations submitted applications. The The winner will be announced at the Celebration of Best Practices event on May 24, 2012.  Come join us! To visit the Center For Nonprofit Advancement website and to learn more about the 2012 Washington Post Award, click here..  here

www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395



Find Out How Y You ou Can Receive Recei ve $8.00 for Every $1.00 You Save!  (Save up to $500 and receive up to $4,000!) What: Information Session 

Topic: Jobs & Entrepreneurship Ent repreneurship Stimulus Account Where: Byte Back, 815 Monroe Street, NE, Washington, DC 20017   When: Thursday, May 3, 2012 from 6:00 – 6:30pm –or– Saturday May 5, 2012 from 12:15—12:45   Call Byte Back at 202.529.3395 to sign up for an information session presented by Capital Area Asset Builders (CAAB) this Thursday May 3, from 6:00  – 6:30pm or Saturday Sat urday May 5 from 12:15 -12:45pm. Learn how you can receive $8.00 for every $1.00 you save via the Jobs & Entrepreneurship Stimulus Account (JESA) Program. This program is for low income individuals (those with household income below 200% of Federal Poverty Line). Participants agree to save up to $500 towards their small business or job training co costs, sts, and can receive up to $4,000 in matching funds.  Participants must agree to: 1) complete ten hours of financial education provided by CAAB; 2) attend transformative financial coaching sessions on an as-needed basis; and 3) complete a minimum of four hours of entrepreneurship or job training provided by an approved partner. Following this training period, participants will continue to receive coaching from CAAB and support through CAAB’s Financial Empowerment Circles, peer -led groups of CAAB clients who are continuing to work towards economic self -sufficiency. After completing program requirements, CAAB will match each graduate’s $500 savings, when used to invest in their chosen asset, at a rate of 8:1 for a total, including client savings, of $4,500.  Maximum HouseHousehold Size


 All qualifications MUST be met: 


Participant must be a DC resident 

Participant's household income must meet specific guidelines (see table)  use household's Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)   "household" includes all individuals who share use of a dwelling unit as primary quarters for living and eating separate from other individuals  

Participant must be working or receiving earned income 

Participant's household net worth less than $10,000   Net worth means value of assets owned by all household mem bers, excluding value of the primary residence and one vehicle, minus obligations or debts of all household members 

To apply for the JESA program, the following documentation is required:  

hold Income

Completed JESA Application (provided by CAAB at the orientation)  Completed JESA Copy of two most recent consecutive pay consecutive pay stubs  Copy of most recent federal tax return for f or all wage earners in earners in household 

Copy of applicant’s credit report obtained within the last 6 months (can be from any credit bureau,  but must include a credit score.) score.) 

1 adult 


2 adults 


3 adults 


1 adult and 1 child  


2 adults and 1



(married filing

1 adult and 2 chil-


dren  4 members total 


5 members total




6 members total 


7 members total 


8 members total 


 for enrollment fee (will be returned if applicant is ineligible for program)  $50 money order  for

Before you call Byte Back to sign -up for the information session, please visit www.caab.org and click on the “Money Bag” on the left side of the homepage to view eligibility requirements and self -screening questionnaire before contacting CAAB for an application. Clients who have not viewed the self -screening questionnaire will not be given an application to apply.  

*Please note that all supporting documentation is required. Incomplete applications or those applications that are missing required supporting documentation will NOT  NOT be accepted/processed. 

www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395



A Snap Shot of the Month Past  There are a lot of great things that happen around here and we would like to share them. So, here they are:   

Byte Back partner, D.C. LEARNs is hosting a  Book Give-  A A-Way. Come out on May 4th, to the Shaw Library Community Room, from 1:30-4:30pm and take all the  FREE new and used used books you can carry! We will have a large selection of board books, children’s books, early readers, pre -teen and teen books, and adult books too! Please bring your own boxes and/or bags!  

 A new round of classes began April 9, 2012. We W e would like to welcome all new students! We recently sent a survey to our stakeholders to collect feedback on how we are doing as an organization and what we can do to improve going forward.   A  A total of 111 stakeholders st akeholders shared their thoughts with us. The responses were used during our Strategic Planning Retreat, Retreat, held on April 28 and attended by members of Byte Back’s Board of Directors and staff to make plans for the coming year and beyond. Thank you to those who participated.

On Thursday April 12th from 6:00 -7:30 PM Byte Back Kicked off it’s newly revamped first Job Club. What is a Job Club?  It's a group of job -seekers who meet regularly for support, to share ideas, and to learn new ways to improve their job search and application strategies. If you would like to join the Byte Back Job Club or would like additional Information, contact Robert Waisburd at  [email protected] or (202)525-3157. 

On the evening of April 11, 2012, the MOS Certification prep course students got together over dinner to celebrate a successful completion of their course, make plans for the future and speak of their experiences. They plan to take the certification exams in the coming weeks. Congrats and good luck on your exams.

MOS Students pose with their certificates of completion and their instructor.

www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395



Volunteer Opportunities  "Volunteering is the most effective means to give back to your community, and to continue to develop the human spirit." --Ted Frazier, volunteer instructor   Byte Back is always eager to take on volunteers.   Whether you're a participant in a service learning program, a professional, a college student or a Byte Back alumnus who wants to stay connected with us, volunteering is an excellent way to stay in touch with our community and help us bridge the digital divide.   If you'd like to volunteer or learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact Byte Back Director of Volunteer Services Eleanor Grewal at  [email protected]  or (202) 529-3395. 

About Byte Back 

Founded in 1997, Byte Back seeks to improve economic opportunity in the Washington, D.C. area by providing computer literacy and job training for disadvantaged communities. Byte Back offers courses ranging from basic computer literacy to Microsoft Office to internationally recognized computer certification preparation.   Byte Back is licensed by the DC Educational Licensure Commission as a Postsecondary Educational Institution.  

www.byteback.org | 202.529.3395

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