Philadelphia 11th-grader Ernie Ross is a 2010 graduate of the Comcast Digital Connectors program, which aims to build computer skills among youth in underserved communities. Not only does the enrichment program better prepare young adults for a successful future, it also charges its students to return to their communities and share their newfound knowledge with others.
My name is Ernie Ross. My nickname is Inspector Gadget. I've always loved technology and gadgets. One day I was wearing a trench coat, and a family member called me Inspector Gadget and the name has stuck since. Now that I am a graduate of the Comcast Digital Connectors program my nickname has credibility to it, and I now do see myself as Inspector Gadget — only not as goofy.
In addition to my nickname, I can attribute a lot of my recent opportunities and career dreams to being a 2010 graduate of the Comcast Digital Connectors program from the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs in Philadelphia. I learned technical and personal development skills like installing computer hardware and software, money management and savings tips. I've traveled out-of-state to Chicago and Washington D.C. I've been introduced to different people who led me to internship opportunities. I've interned for the City of Philadelphia in City Hall, Comcast, and the Non-Profit Technology Resources Computer Thrift Store. Most importantly to me, I became a certified computer technician. This is a big accomplishment that I will add to my resume that will make me more marketable for future opportunities.
My big dream is to have a job that I am good at and that I love going to every day. After completing the Digital Connectors program, I realized that being a computer technician is my dream job. When I was younger I wanted to become a police officer, then I changed my mind to become a fireman. All of my job aspirations were about helping other people in need. Now I know that a computer technician can also help and give back to the community — just in a safer manner. I know this because I learned how to help bridge the gap between my community and technology as a result of being in the Comcast Digital Connectors program. As my community service project for the program, I dedicated 56 hours to diagnose and fix desktop and laptop computers for people in my community. This was fun because I was able to apply what I learned and help others in need.
Right now, I am one of the head sound technicians at my church, and I am proud that the parishioners call me a role model. I think they call me a role model because the kids in the community, especially the boys, are mostly drug dealers and I'm not involved in drugs. My parents introduced me to a lot of different programs to keep me away from bad influences — and I'm grateful that the Comcast Digital Connectors program was one of them. There are still bad influences and dangers around me, but now that I've been exposed to positive programs, I know it's nothing I ever want to be involved in. I am doing something with my life. I'm preparing myself for the future. I look to my role models: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; my school teacher, Miss Marcia Butler; and my Comcast Digital Connectors instructor, Miss Chrissy Harrison. They all pushed for something better for the community.
I am currently studying for my A+ Certification Test, and believe that the Comcast Digital Connectors program has helped me prepare for this certification. After college, I want to work for Comcast because I like how they give back to the community. I am grateful I was able to benefit from their Digital Connectors program and I would like to share what I learned. I now see myself as a computer technician; a computer technician that gives back. I wouldn't mind if my family, friends and colleagues continued to call me Inspector Gadget when I do accomplish my dream.