SAN DIEGO — October 5, 2021 — Sweetwater Union High School District announces a partnership with NFINIT, a San Diego-based provider of hybrid cloud solutions, connectivity, and colocation, to launch a new paid internship program benefiting local students. With NFINIT’s San Diego data center as their classroom, each student gains highly employable skills around cybersecurity, cloud, network engineering, data science and more during the six-month internship.
The new program launched in June 2021 with two interns: Arvie Cabal and John Paul Minimo, former Sweetwater High School students now attending San Diego State University. After providing interns with exposure to a broad view of IT-related career choices, the program allows students to choose one area of interest to focus on. While Cabal has worked on developing a “honeypot,” a controlled environment created to lure in cyber attacks as part of a data center’s constant check for any security weaknesses, Minimo chose to build a server that allows NFINIT to perform speed tests within their network. Cabal and Minimo also learned the ins and outs of managing a Network Operations Center (NOC), including the deployment of virtual servers, remote hands tasks, creation and resolution of customer trouble tickets, cable construction, fiber cabling, and more. Both interns are learning skills critical for any company requiring help with core systems, operating center, and help desk services.
“By combining a computer science education and practical training in growing tech fields, we’re empowering underserved students with boundless opportunities,” explains Art Lopez, Sweetwater’s District TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) for Computer Science. Eleven years ago, Art Lopez (and other district leaders), in collaboration with the San Diego Supercomputer Center and UC San Diego CREATE, launched a computer science program at Sweetwater, which has grown to span 65 courses throughout the District. “When it comes to the computing and tech fields, far too few women and people of color are represented, and we’re working to change that. Sweetwater students have access to many internship opportunities, but this is the first of its kind in computer science, with a focus on underserved populations.”
According to Code.org, only about 22 percent of participation in the Computer Science Advanced Placement (AP) exam in U.S. high schools is by young women; 13 percent is by students from marginalized racial and ethnic groups. While diversity in computer science continues to lack, computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow by 11% between 2019 and 2029, earning a median annual salary of $88,240, ComputerScience.org reports.
“Though we serve global clients at NFINIT, we’re very focused on giving back to our local community, and we’re in a unique position to do so,” says Denis Savage, Vice President of Operations for NFINIT, who is managing the program on NFINIT’s side along with Phil Kenney, CEO of NFINIT. “I can’t think of a better way to do that than by providing opportunities for Sweetwater students to boost their STEM education in a practical setting, learning skills that will empower themselves and their communities for years to come.”
“It’s at the heart of our promise to Sweetwater students that we’ll provide equitable access to opportunities that will help them succeed,” says Dr. Ana Maria Alvarez, Assistant Superintendent at Sweetwater Union High School District. “To that end, careers powering the digital economy are the future. We’ve seen throughout the pandemic the incredible relevance and necessity of internet connectivity and data security. By teaching Sweetwater students applicable, marketable skills using a world-class data center that happens to be right in their community, we’re empowering their future.”
NFINIT will welcome at least two more interns in June 2022; the application process is scheduled to kick off in April.
About Sweetwater Union High School District
Founded in 1920, the Sweetwater District has grown to more than 40,000 students in grades 7 through 12 and more than 22,000 adult learners. The district’s 30 campuses are located in the cities of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego, including the communities of Bonita, Eastlake, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro and South San Diego. For more information, visit www.sweetwaterschools.org.
NFINIT provides full stack technology services, including connectivity, colocation, and enterprise-class cloud. Every workload has unique challenges, and NFINIT’s consultative approach and focus on innovation ensures that we deliver the best customized environment, every time. Serving thousands of clients worldwide from our home base in San Diego, NFINIT aims to fulfill our clients’ technology roadmap with best-in-breed solutions and expert support. For more, visit www.nfinit.com.
For media inquiries, please contact:
JSA for NFINIT
+1 866.695.3629 ext. 19