GenYES in Action

This summer we produced a video with the help of the Cisco Foundation! This video highlights the GenYES program in Yuma, Arizona. Generation YES has implemented the program in 30 schools. Last year, the students in Yuma completed more than 1,500 hours of tech support and saved their districts $75,000 in IT support costs.




(Dennis Harper) You often hear that students are our future, but at Generation YES, we consider students to be here now. They have talents, they have energy, they have expertise, and we need that expertise in order to produce a 21st century school. I always felt that there must be a methodology that can involve the students themselves in making a better learning environment for themselves and becoming allies with teachers in the process.


Generation YES is a program that works with K-12 schools to prepare teams of students to provide the tech support for IT staff and teachers as they integrate technology into the curriculum. Over the years, 2,100 schools have implemented the Generation YES model. The mission of Generation YES is to prepare students to become allies in this whole process of moving schools into the 21st century and providing students the rigorous opportunities to go into IT, STEM careers, and computer science.


(Jennette Arviso) Yuma's community is close-knit. We have a very diverse population. We also have students that are struggling. Utilizing GenYES in our education system has been very powerful. It allowed us to take our 1:1 technology opportunities, where every student has an iPad, and put that training and learning in our students. They go into classrooms, they help students, but they also help our teachers and other adults. It allows for seamless teaching to continue.


(Andrea Martinez) Before this program started, I would find myself trying to troubleshoot a device, and next thing you know, 30 minutes has passed and I only have an hour with each class period. With these leaders, I am able to stay focussed on teaching math concepts and knowing that if we have any issues, I don't have to lose instructional minutes.


(Dennis Harper) One of our primary sponsors has been the Cisco Foundation. They're the ones that sponsored the 30 schools here in Yuma, which resulted in over 1,000 students being trained. Those 30 schools received over 1,500 hours of tech support from students and saved the district over $75,000 in IT support costs. Another result of the Cisco funding has been that we focussed on areas like Oakland, like Yuma, which have large populations of minority students, and provide them with equal opportunity to succeed.


(Elena Armendariz) Our little kids want to be STLs when they grow up. They say, "I can't wait until I am in 4th grade to become a Student Technology Leader," because they see these kids know more.


(Kylie Fijalkowsky) We get to teach kids about new technology and new things about new apps, and it's really fun.


(Andrea Martinez) You have to imagine how difficult it is for a student to walk in and interrupt a teacher who might have been teaching for thirty years. So they do that, and they do it so gracefully and with such confidence that it's really quite nice to see.


(Tyler Martinez) I was really afraid to talk to teachers because I felt like they were bigger and they had more power. But through GenYES, I really grew strong and I communicate with them.


(Leanna Paige) I get to learn how to fix an iPad, how to disable an iPad, when it's broken or someone needs help with it.


(Kylie Fijalkowsky) It feels really good because it means that a lot of people are depending on you to help them.