Neurodiverse learners had a blast this summer at Tech Kids Unlimited! TKU’s summer lineup was its most diverse to date. It featured weeklong tech workshops, a free cybersecurity class, and three career-readiness programs, with students participating virtually or in person. Students learned to use new software, work in teams, advocate for themselves, and socialize with new peers.
Supportive environments matter! TKU’s programs are designed to support students who learn differently and foster an inclusive learning environment. During summer programs, teachers saw students step out of their comfort zone, participate in discussions and share their work.
However, growth didn’t come without challenges. Some students needed the guidance of social workers and counselors, who are present in every TKU classroom, to navigate challenges with self-regulation, confidence, and self-advocacy. For example, a student in the cybersecurity class was nervous because they weren’t familiar with the topic but with the guidance of TKU counselors, they were able to engage in the program and advance their understanding.
TKU expanded career-ladder programs. This summer, we hosted the TKU Digital Agency, a Master Tech Course in Video Editing, and the Career Readiness Internship Program (CRISP). The young adults who participated learned tech skills, time management, and other soft skills relevant to the workplace.
Notably, CRISP placed 20 interns in worksites for 6 weeks. Interns divided their time between career development activities at TKU and participating in internship roles within workplaces. TKU’s social workers played an active role by offering support to interns and collaborating with internship supervisors to ensure that participants were set up for success. CRISP interns worked on a variety of projects such as creating videos, updating websites, developing content for social media, and designing 3D-printable objects.