In 2012 California native Rick Gibson helped launch a program in Oakland geared toward introducing web design to young people to help them explore tech-related careers. Now with help from a few local tech-savvy young creatives and a couple of students and graduates from Forsyth Tech Community College, Gibson is looking to launch a similar program here in Winston-Salem.
In Oakland, the United Roots Web Design & Social Media Marketing Youth Training Program was supported by an initiative called United Roots Oakland, a center that provides programs and opportunities to engage and empower youth from marginalized communities – the City of Oakland Summer Youth Employment Program, Hitsworks Enterprises LLC, and another initiative called Youth Uprising. During the 10-week program, students in the Oakland area learned the ins and outs of web design and content management skills. The program also provided opportunities for students to put their skills to use after the course, by connecting them with business owners and churches in the area in need of a website or building a social media presence.
Gibson, who relocated to North Carolina to be closer to his family, said his goal for the ONTV Studios and the Urban Success Academy (USA) here in Winston-Salem, is to take the model of the United Roots program and add new programs.
“I helped start a similar program in Oakland that focused on a web