In September, Newmind Group welcomed Maliek Hargrave to the team, our first Newminder graduated from the Kalamazoo Technology Training Partnership.
The KTTP was started in 2019, when The Kalamazoo Promise saw an opportunity to create alternative educational opportunities for Kalamazoo residents, with a focus on creating a more diverse IT community. A handful of local organizations stepped in to help make the program happen, including Consumers Credit Union, CTS Telecom, Greenleaf Hospitality Group, Kalamazoo Public Library, and Newmind Group. The KTTP class of 2020 graduated in July of this year, and you can read more about it here.
I like that the program was interested in bringing people of diverse backgrounds into a field that doesn’t usually have a lot of diversity. The types of folks you don’t always think about when somebody says “technology”. There were a lot of people who looked just like me. Young, old, asking the same questions, or just acting goofy. I saw my personality and my background in a lot of those people.
Maliek says that the KTTP was a great experience, even after COVID-19 changed the way that the program was able to meet. The main change was a complete shift away from in-person classes, but the group was still able to meet online, and take virtual tours of worksites like Consumers Credit Union, The Radisson, and Wings Event Center.
Maliek grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and graduated from Kalamazoo Phoenix High school in 2016. Today, Maliek is finishing up his education at KVCC studying social work, as well as working two jobs: he helps out Prevention Works three days a week as a program facilitator, and is part-time every day here at Newmind Group.
In his free time, he likes listening to music, and reading. His favorite book is The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis. He first picked up the book in fifth grade but he’s loved to this day, and recommends everyone checks it out.
Maliek also loves listening to people’s stories and problems, and that has led him to take an interest in social work as a career. He says that his time with Prevention Works and the KTTP have made him interested in finding ways for technology to make it easier to help people in fields like social work.
For now, he spends a few days each week in our office helping Newmind Group’s technicians keep our clients happy. If you see his name on a helpdesk ticket or an email, be sure to say hello!