I learned this term from a grant proposal a friend directed us towards.
Upon further examination, I realized that the opportunity wasn’t for us, though I’ll discuss this in another post.
Two-generation solutions mean to confront both parent and child when building pathways out of our communal poverty.
Broken, and fractured, homes are the source of many maladies that plague our society.
I will digress from explaining exactly how, save to say, when everyone does better … everyone does better.
How SF builds 2 generation solutions?
The idea for our organization arose and was built before the new term 2-generation was learned.
It just happens to encapsulate our work better than the words we were using 🙂
Nonetheless, our initial focus was the education and employment of youth.
Then seeing how we would need to expand our capacity it is a natural step to train, and employ, those past the age of 18 to teach others.
We are beginning by teaching the youth marketable tech skills, HTML, CSS, Git, CLI, and Python.
Through our program they acquire a GitHub account, the world’s largest platform for open-source coding, now owned by @Microsoft.
Furthermore, they have the beginnings of a portfolio website and open-source contributions by the end of their session with us.
So not only are we educating these youth, we are also providing them with the tools necessary to expand the horizon of their opportunities.
Our next move is to add Slack to our classes, so that professionals can volunteer in a student support role remotely.
In doing so, we will hopefully be one step closer to building a school-to-dreams pipeline for these youth by connecting them with a network aligned with, and attentive to, their aspirations.
Or rather, the position, will be a remote position.
Not only is this a direction many parts of the business world are moving, it is with good reason and aligned with our target demographic.
The world is stressful enough, especially for those typically marginalized by the dominant sentiments.
While we wouldn’t encourage anyone to runaway, per se, we do want to enable our co-workers to increase their agency with regard to the communities they engage, and how.
Furthermore, we aim to employ 50% young parents, so as to provide them a more flexible employment option, and growth path, during such pivotal times.
Teachers will be paid to teach classes, and help maintain the codebase.
They will be paid a living wage, and so part-time work will theoretically be enough to cover the base of their bills.
We aim to do this so that our co-workers have enough energy to pursue their own dreams and goals. Full-time at ScreamFreely is 30 hours per week, part-time is 15–20 hours per week.
So how now?
The strength of two-generation solutions is when members from each generation can support and see their reflections in the other.
We do this by targeting our employment towards historically marginalized demographics, and our classes towards historically under-served communities.
If we fish in the same pond for our teachers, as we do our students, we increase the probability that our students will be able to relate to our teachers.
We bolster this by bringing in volunteers, also remote; while providing a single classroom attendant.
Students are now then enclosed by reflections of their own possibilities, while enacting the professional work of coding remotely with a team in a supportive environment.
When a teacher gains enough to move on, we encourage them to do so; perhaps they will volunteer in the future.
And when a student gains enough to become employed …
These are our metrics of success.
Why SF builds 2 generation solutions?
I, ScreamFreely’s founder, was adopted into a family that did not provide me any healthy support socially, emotionally, mentally, nor physically.
The prevalence of broken homes in our world makes common my infirmity.
Through trial and error I learned what makes a dynamic and diverse relationship work, or fail, in the context of life-skills acquisition.
Combining this with an understanding of the professional hoops and hurdles diverse applicants were expected to perform, I sought to build an easier, all-inclusive path for others like me.
And was able to simply ask myself, what did I need to succeed?
What would it take to build such things?
Voila, a dream is born.
A decade ago, I was a young father until I was taken from my child.
This continues to be traumatizing, and in the hopes that others not have to persevere such pain and humiliation, I pursue this work.
Every Generation Solution
We have not yet talked about how the students learn to code, nor what the teachers are working when they are not teaching.
The codebase supports an application called MnActivist, which provides an ad-free, and tracker-free, means of staying updated on civic events and information.
In this sense, every student and teacher is working on an application that also serves every member of their community as well.
In this manner, admittedly, we seek to build brand recognition so as to escalate the marketability of our co-workers and their awesomeness.
Truly it is a grand dream, but such are the best dreams to make manifest.
Thank you for listening to my conversational foray into why I think what we are building is super great and everyone should support it 🙂
To learn more about our classes you may visit this page.
And if you’d like to support me personally, I encourage you to purchase a copy of poetry collection: