P-TECH Graduates Ready for New Collar Jobs

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This spring marks the first full completion cycle of the innovative Brooklyn P-TECH grade 9-14 program through which graduates are able to earn both a high school diploma and a two-year associate degree in six years. For the third straight year, Brooklyn P-TECH students have completed their “six-year” program in five years or less – some blazing through the curriculum in as little as three-and-a-half years. These graduates, most of of whom are from low-income families – are sterling examples of what can happen when schools, colleges and businesses collaborate in service to America’s youth. P-TECH graduates are the new generation of college and career-ready young adults –skilled, confident and ready for the New Collar jobs of the 21st Century. Read some of their stories below:


NkosiNkosi Bourne, 19, earned his high school diploma and associate degree in computer systems technology in December 2015 after four-and-a-half years. While at P-TECH, Nkosi honed his website design skills during a paid summer internship at New York’s Grand Central Tech accelerator. As a Front-End Web Developer with IBM, Nkosi has created many webpages (some featured on IBM.com’s homepage), D3 data visualizations, and interactive cognitive tools – one of which debuted at the 2016 World of Watson. Nkosi also is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in computer information systems at Baruch College. Nkosi describes himself as a “serious” sneaker collector, and enjoys music and poetry in his spare time.


Leslieanne JohnLeslieanne John, 20, is the first in her family to earn a postsecondary degree, and is continuing her studies at Brooklyn College while working at IBM. Leslieanne accelerated through her “six-year” P-TECH program in just four-and-a-half years, during which she held a paid IBM internship. As a full-time Organizational Development Professional with IBM, Leslieanne develops digital content, works on executive event planning, and recruits and trains interns for IBM’s Marketing Teams. Earlier this spring, Leslieanne spoke about the value of the opportunity she was given at a White House meeting with two world leaders present.



Chigozie OkorieChigozie Okorie, 18, finished his high school diploma and A.A.S. degree in computer information systems in four years, and returns to P-TECH as an Education Program Associate with IBM Corporate Citizenship. In his capacity as a P-TECH alumnus and “New Collar” IBMer, Chigozie will focus on P-TECH’s mentor and campus visit programs – both key components of the workplace skills portion of the program’s domestic and international curricula.




Gabriel RosaGabriel Rosa, 19, graduated P-TECH in four years, and now works as a Front-End Developer at IBM. While at P-TECH, Gabriel channeled his hacking skills into expertise in programming. In his “New Collar” position, Gabriel designs and writes code to help improve the user experience of IBM’s online marketplace. Watch the story of Gabriel’s journey from middle schooler to New Collar IBMer in this animated video.



RadcliffeYou may remember Radcliffe Saddler, 20, from when he welcomed President Obama to P-TECH in 2013. Since then, Radcliffe has graduated with his high school diploma and associate degree and is completing his bachelor’s degree at Baruch College while working as a New Collar IBMer. As an Associate Analyst with IBM’s Market Development and Insights group, Radcliffe works on an internal employee tool that provides insights into different markets and data trends – helping to ensure that nearly 400,000 IBMers worldwide can integrate new productivity breakthroughs quickly and efficiently.Close to two years after starting his career at IBM, Radcliffe will soon begin a new role as an Associate Designer.

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