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Curriculum features classroom training plus on-the-job experience

June 28, 2004

A select group of students from six Houston high schools will spend this summer learning about computers - inside and out - and putting those skills to use at major Houston corporations. The students are part of the newest class to enroll in Genesys ITS, an innovative technology education and training program that targets economically underprivileged youth.

The 39-member 2004 summer class is the largest yet for Genesys, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002. Participating students are from Southwest, Reagan, Milby, Austin, Eastwood and Chavez High Schools.

During the summer, the students split their day between Genesys classroom training and on-site project work at some of Houston's biggest corporations, including United Space Alliance and Reliant Resources.

"Our students get the opportunity to perform in professional environments at levels that they have not yet experienced," said Rafael Alvarez, founder and president of Genesys. "Without a program like Genesys, it is unlikely that they could have the opportunity to work in corporate environments at this early age."

In the classroom, the students are divided into three groups based on experience. While students new to Genesys are learning the basics of electronics, PC training and other skills, more advanced students are working to achieve professional industry certifications in the technology field.

Also during the summer the students will hear presentations from high-ranking officials from corporations such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Continental Airlines, ExxonMobil and others, and tour the data centers and communications infrastructures of Reliant Park, Hewlett-Packard and other companies. These presentations will expose these students to corporate America and the personal/business skills needed to succeed in this environment.

After the class graduates in August, the students will continue their training and their corporate jobs while attending high school through a partnership between the schools and Genesys.

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