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Reference Deirdra Pickering Sep 2011

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Reference from the Dublin Computer Clubhouse, from my volunteer mentor and internship time.

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Reference Deirdra Pickering Sep 2011

  1. 1. 26 September 2011To Whom It ConcernsDeirdra Pickering was a Volunteer Mentor and Intern at the SWICN Computer Clubhouse, anafter-school multimedia technology centre, between March 2010 – February 2011.Deirdra’s role within the organisation quickly developed and she conducted her Master’sdissertation on the value of social capital in the Clubhouse. Following completion of herdissertation, Deirdra was offered an intern position.At the Computer Clubhouse, the most important requirements of a Volunteer Mentor is theircommitment, reliability and genuine interest in working with people, especially 8-18 year olds.Deirdra was committed to her role from day one, which is paramount to the work, asconsistency in the life of young people is extremely important.Deirdra worked 2-3 afternoons per week with a range of young people with whom she builtsolid relationships. She typically worked within a group environment of 10-16 young people,between 8-18 years on a variety of technology projects.From October 2010, she took up the position of intern. Her responsibilities were: • To revamp the website • To create strategies to recruit and retain volunteers • To revamp and run the induction process for volunteers • Create and run a set of resources for volunteers to use.This role involved linking in with a team of over 30 volunteer mentors, diverse in age,background, culture and interests.In my time knowing Deirdra, I found her a kind-hearted and gentle person, with great respectfor all people. She was emotionally intelligent with a great sense of empathy. I’ve observedher ability to gently motivate young people, whether they were generating new ideas orgetting their projects over the finish line. Most importantly, she had a relaxed and friendlyapproach and makes the learning process fun!Deirdra also brought a wealth of business and educational experience to the Clubhouse,which strengthened the capacity of the staff team.I wish her well with her own business and have no hesitation in recommending her to anyparent.Kindest regards,Janice FeigheryClubhouse Manager Computer Clubhouse | South West Inner City Network [SWICN] Rainsford Street | Dublin 8 Registered Charity No. | CHY6865 T | +353 1 4536674 E | info@theclubhouse.ie W | www.theclubhouse.ie
  2. 2. AboutThe SWICN Computer Clubhouse provides a creative and safe after school learningenvironment where young people, 8-18 years, from underserved communities work with adultmentors to explore their own ideas, develop skills, and build confidence in themselvesthrough the use of technology.The South West Inner City Network (SWICN), a community development organization, runsthe Computer Clubhouse.The Clubhouse learning approach is designed to empower youth from all backgrounds tobecome more capable, creative, and confident learners. This approach is grounded inresearch from the fields of education, developmental and social psychology, cognitivescience, and youth development. It builds on research on the role of affect and motivation inthe learning process, the importance of social context, and the interplay between individualand community development. It leverages new technologies to support new types of learningexperiences and engage young people who have been alienated by traditional educationalapproaches. It is proven to be one of the most effective models of youth work in Ireland.The model of learning was developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten at Media Lab in theMassacheusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, U.S. Computer Clubhouse | South West Inner City Network [SWICN] Rainsford Street | Dublin 8 Registered Charity No. | CHY6865 T | +353 1 4536674 E | info@theclubhouse.ie W | www.theclubhouse.ie

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