P-TECH celebrates its 2017 graduates

By this summer, 100 students from Brooklyn, N.Y., and Chicago will have graduated from the P-TECH program with both their high school diplomas and their associate degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Many of the scholars who participated in P-TECH, a grade-9-to-14 education model pioneered by IBM in partnership with educators, have completed the six-year program early — some in under four years — and many will be the first in their family to earn a college degree.

Diamond Williams, 17, Queens

Picture of Brooklyn Diamond Williams

Diamond Williams, 17, Queens

Diamond is on track to finish the P-TECH program two years ahead of schedule.

Penelope Garcia, 17, Brooklyn

Picture of Brooklyn Penelope Garci

Penelope Garcia, 17, Brooklyn

Penelope took her first college course during her second semester at P-TECH, and is the first in her family to graduate college.

Davion Hutchinson, 19, Brooklyn

Picture of Brooklyn Davion Hutchinson

Davion Hutchinson, 19, Brooklyn

Davion, part of the inaugural class that started P-TECH in 2011, knows that “it’s not how you start, but how you finish” that matters.

Moses Graham, 19, Queens

Picture of Brooklyn Moses Graham

Moses Graham, 19, Queens

Moses is part of P-TECH’s legacy class.

Alex Quintero, 18, Brooklyn

Picture of Brooklyn Alex Quintero

Alex Quintero, 18, Brooklyn

Alex took his first college course at age 16, and completed his P-TECH program a year ahead of schedule.

Brandon Scott, 19, Queens

Picture of Brooklyn Brandon Scott

Brandon Scott, 19, Queens

Brandon remembers the thrill of having his supervisor buy him his own web domain during Brandon’s paid IBM internship.

Shavina Hooper, 19, Brooklyn

Picture of Brooklyn Shavina Hooper

Shavina Hooper, 19, Brooklyn

Born in Guyana, Shavina and her family came to New York City in search of better opportunities.

Everardo Gutierrez, 17, Chicago

Picture of Chicago Everado Gutierre

Everardo Gutierrez, 17, Chicago

Trailblazer Everardo will finish his high school diploma and two-year associate degree program two years ahead of schedule this summer.

Derick Turner, 17, Chicago

Picture of Chicago Derick Turner

Derick Turner, 17, Chicago

Derick is on track to finish two years ahead of schedule with his associate degree in web development.

Ozzy Ordonez, 17, Chicago

Picture of Chicago Ozzy Ordonez

Ozzy Ordonez, 17, Chicago

Ozzy is the youngest in his family and the first to graduate college — two years ahead of schedule.

Anissa Del Rio, 17, Chicago

Picture of Chicago Anissa Del Rio

Anissa Del Rio, 17, Chicago

Anissa will complete her associate degree in web development this spring.

Alexus Hill, 19, Chicago

Picture of Chicago Alexus Hill

Alexus Hill, 19, Chicago

Alexus grew up in the South Side of Chicago and will be the first in her family to graduate college.

Azzaria Douglas, 19, Chicago

Picture of Chicago Azzaria Douglas

Azzaria Douglas, 19, Chicago

Azzaria is on track to complete her associate degree in web development one year early this summer.

Messiah Hill, 19, Brooklyn

Picture of Messiah

Messiah Hill, 19, Brooklyn

Messiah is earning his high school and two-year college degree in only five years — and inspired his mother to return to college to finish her degree.

Picture of Brooklyn Diamond Williams

Diamond Williams, 17

Diamond is on track to finish the P-TECH program two years ahead of schedule. Before P-TECH, Diamond was not interested in technology, but she caught the technology bug at P-TECH and focused on taking computer science and web design courses. Her IBM internship challenged her to step out of her comfort zone. She gained valuable collaboration, communication and programming skills developing an interactive employee website.

Picture of Messiah

Messiah Hill, 19

Messiah is earning his high school and two-year college degree in only five years — and inspired his mother to return to college to finish her degree. P-TECH taught him that he can do anything he puts his mind to. During his paid IBM internship, Messiah used his coding and creative skills to design web page layouts and refine his expertise in graphic design. He credits his basketball coach and IBM mentor for motivating him to do well in school. A scholar-athlete, Messiah will enter Mount Ida College this fall on a full scholarship and plans to study graphic design.

Picture of Brooklyn Penelope Garcia

Penelope Garcia, 17

Penelope took her first college course during her second semester at P-TECH, and is the first in her family to graduate college. At P-TECH, Penelope developed her interest in the creative aspect of coding and enjoys seeing what she created from scratch. She combined her creativity with project leadership experience during her paid IBM internship. Penelope credits her P-TECH track coach and school’s support network for encouraging her to excel.

Picture of Brooklyn Davion Hutchinson

Davion Hutchinson, 19

Davion, part of the inaugural class that started P-TECH in 2011, knows that “it’s not how you start, but how you finish” that matters. While in school, Davion was captain of the Paul Robeson Campus Soccer Team. Davion worked on digital marketing and social media campaigns during his paid internship with IBM’s Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs division.

Picture of Brooklyn Moses Graham

Moses Graham, 19

Moses is part of P-TECH’s legacy class. While at P-TECH, he was a member of the robotics team where he honed skills in mechanics, problem-solving and teamwork. In his junior year, Moses interned with IBM’s Software Engineering division where his supervisor encouraged him to learn JavaScript. Through all of his experiences, Moses’ biggest takeaways are time management and self-advocacy.

Picture of Brooklyn Alex Quintero

Alex Quintero, 18

Alex took his first college course at age 16, and completed his P-TECH program a year ahead of schedule. Having grown up in a neighborhood with few opportunities, Alex saw P-TECH as his chance to break free from an uncertain future, focused on courses in programming and 3D modeling, and credits his IBM mentor with helping him visualize how technology can be applied for social good. Alex will pursue his bachelor’s degree in computer science at CityTech, and eventually plans to start his own business.

Picture of Brooklyn Brandon Scott

Brandon Scott, 19

Brandon remembers the thrill of having his supervisor buy him his own web domain during Brandon’s paid IBM internship. Fueled by his passion for programming, Brandon plans to earn his IT-related certifications and work in the tech industry while continuing his education.

Picture of Brooklyn Shavina Hooper

Shavina Hooper, 19

Born in Guyana, Shavina and her family came to New York City in search of better opportunities. She is the first in her family to graduate college. At P-TECH, Shavina connected the dots between everyday uses of technology and the Java and HTML coding behind it. She explored those connections during her paid IBM internship, during which she had an opportunity to present her project findings to her team. Shavina is planning for a career in marketing or advertising and communications.

Picture of Everado Gutierre

Everardo Gutierrez, 17

Trailblazer Everardo will finish his high school diploma and two-year associate degree program two years ahead of schedule this summer, after which he will enter the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he plans to study mechanical engineering on a full tuition scholarship. The first in his family to graduate high school or college, Everardo will intern at IBM this summer, where he plans to apply his programming skills (C++ and JavaScript) to his project. He is a member of the boys’ varsity soccer team and National Honor Society.

Picture of Chicago Derick Turne

Derick Turner, 17

Derick is on track to finish two years ahead of schedule with his associate degree in web development. He will be interning at IBM this summer, during which he will utilize IBM Bluemix and Watson analytics as a member of the technical sales team. Derick plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree in computer science at Loyola University.

Picture of Chicago Ozzy Ordonez

Ozzy Ordonez, 17

Ozzy is the youngest in his family and the first to graduate college —two years ahead of schedule. Ozzy’s favorite academic pursuits were chemistry, IT courses and using the FUSE Engineering program to design and build projects using 3D printers and laser cutters. Ozzy says he is more motivated and persistent after attending Sarah Goode. Ozzy plans to study mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and eventually would like to earn his doctorate in engineering and work for a leading tech company or engineering firm.

Picture of Chicago Anissa Del Rio

Anissa Del Rio, 17

Anissa will complete her associate degree in web development this spring. Among the top 10 students in her class, Anissa overcame dyslexia to succeed in challenging college courses. Anissa plans to become a teacher, and will begin her studies in English and secondary education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign this fall.

Picture of Chicago Alexus Hill

Alexus Hill, 19

Alexus grew up in the South Side of Chicago and will be the first in her family to graduate college. She personifies the “new collar” mindset of the 21st century workforce and credits P-TECH with opening her eyes to a new world of professional possibilities. Originally interested in becoming a dancer, Alexus is earning her associate degree in networking systems and technology this spring—one year early. She brought to bear her discipline and focus during a paid IBM summer internship, along with a school-year internship as a business analyst with IBM partner Clarity. Alexus has already earned multiple IT certifications and is interested in a career in networking systems administration.

Picture of Chicago Azzaria Douglas

Azzaria Douglas, 19

Azzaria is on track to complete her associate degree in web development one year early this summer. As the head of school photography, Azzaria’s passions include photography and art. She combined those interests with her skills in C++, JavaScript and Python programming during her paid internship with IBM Watson Analytics, where Azzaria worked with a Chicago elementary school to rebuild its website. She recalls her IBM mentor encouraging her to pursue STEM fields.

What is P-TECH?

Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools (P-TECH) are innovative public schools spanning grades 9 to 14 that bring together the best elements of high school, college and career.

P-TECH will grow from 1 school
in 2011 to more than 80 schools in 2017

Within six years, students graduate with a no-cost associate degree in applied science, engineering, computers or other competitive STEM disciplines, along with the skills and knowledge they need to continue their studies or step easily into high-growth, “new collar” jobs. These are positions in some of the nation’s fastest-growing industries where what matters most is having in-demand skills.

Innovation grows from partnerships

This new education model was co-developed by IBM working together with educators, policymakers and elected officials. P-TECH is designed to be both widely replicable and sustainable, as part of a national effort to reform career and technical education.

P-TECH students are supported
by 300 business partners

Industry partners help ensure that students graduate career-ready, providing mentoring, site visits and paid internships. The schools map skills that employers value into the curriculum, preparing P-TECH graduates to enter the workforce after graduation.

P-TECH scholars plan to keep learning

Some of the P-TECH graduates will move on to “new collar” jobs, ranging from associate analyst to digital design developer.

On-time graduation from Brooklyn
P-TECH is 4x the national average

Others plan to pursue their bachelor’s degrees, and some will do both — maintaining jobs that use the skills they gained in the program while furthering their education.

Learn more about P-TECH

IBM and other stakeholders created a detailed playbook for how this model can be replicated elsewhere. The website offers tools and case studies to help school districts, higher education institutions and businesses establish P-TECH schools by replicating IBM’s groundbreaking public-private partnership education model.