“I wanted to teach them about computers the way I was taught, by taking them apart and understanding what’s inside,” Mathew Archuleta, Desktop Service Operations Manager said. “I was able to build my own computer when I was in sixth or seventh grade and I thought it would be great for these kids to tear it apart and know that they can’t break it. I also had them open up the hard drive so that they could really see it. I think this was a great way to start their understanding of a computer. If we return, I’d like to teach them about software and then eventually coding.”
The City Impact Center is 70,000 square foot campus in the heart of Las Vegas that helps people of all ages and backgrounds with a variety of services like youth after school programs, GED night school, training for work cards, and access to a monthly food pantry. It opened in 2008 as a community center for residents to have a safe and positive environment that would foster social interaction and personal development for children, individuals and families.
“We were approached to teach a coding class because that’s what these kids wanted to learn,” Bill McArthur, Vice President of IT, said. “We didn’t think coding was the right way to start this, so we came up with How to Build a PC. Everyone involved came together and really put a great class together. I try to give everyone in the department the opportunity to volunteer, especially for something like this.”
The Center has partnered with Clark County School District as a charter school and caters to at-risk youth of homeless parents, giving them a place to go after school. The students attending the course were extremely interested and attentive, focused on the ins and outs of the PC.
“Afterwards, kids were coming up to us and they were wowed by the class,” Shannon Barrett, Director of VIP Support, said. “It’s not a very wow thing to us, but it’s great to see that they were so fascinated by it and it obviously made an impact on them. It’s a humbling experience but once you volunteer for something like this, you want to keep doing it over and over again.”