Markus Mitchell, a 23 year-old South Philadelphia native, holds the title of the first Information Technology (IT) Generalist Apprentice with JEVS Human Services (JEVS). Markus currently serves as a Help Desk Analyst with Orleans Technical College, a program of JEVS in Northeast Philadelphia. In this role, Markus is responsible for upgrading computer systems and providing technical support for the trade school, which serves approximately 360 students each year. Markus began his high school education at the former Bok High School in South Philadelphia. Although he had shown some early interest in IT and web design, Markus decided to enter into the workforce after graduation, trying a number of occupations from dishwasher to landscaper. He found himself unsatisfied with the long string of temporary occupations he had gone through after high school. He wanted a career. Through word-of-mouth, Markus heard of a paid web development and skills training program provided by Hopeworks N’Camden and housed within Orleans Technical College. He finished a course that was meant to take 4-6 months in just one month, catching the attention of JEVS. Upon completing the Hopeworks program, Markus was recruited by JEVS to participate in its new TechServ Scholars, a year-long IT pre-apprenticeship program that helped to further develop his talents. Through Markus’ hard work, positive attitude, and determination he graduated TechServ Scholars and received the distinction of Pennsylvania’s 2018 Pre-Apprentice of the Year. His proactive, determined attitude toward an apprenticeship opportunity shows why he is performing at such a high level. When asked what apprenticeship means to him, he answered:
To me, it means you have to have a certain amount of willpower, and drive. You also have to be big on self-education, and wanting to be a self-educated person. I do a lot at work and then I go home and study on my own. I also find it to mean being a coachable person. Being able to take heed to knowing you don’t know everything and having the ability to understand your ignorance to specific knowledge enables you to improve by being mentored and instructed by those higher up the chain, seeing as being an apprentice pretty much is the bottom of the ladder.
Markus has no plans of stopping his career education. Even though he’s only been on the job at JEVS for a few weeks, Markus is looking forward to getting into the more complex facets of IT work, like hardware and software troubleshooting. He is also pursuing additional technical certifications to expand and fortify his existing skills, while utilizing a robust network of professional mentors who are helping to guide and support Markus’ growth in the workplace. Markus’ manager, Brian Rosario, added the following:
“It has been great for the JEVS IT department to have the opportunity of this apprenticeship. The ability to work closely with our Help Desk Analyst, Desktop Support Specialists and System Administrators, will provide Markus different levels of our infrastructure and prepare him for the road ahead. Markus has been a great addition to our team and we look forward to watching his continued growth.”