For those between the ages of 14 and 19 who are interested in getting a handle on technology, or simply want to gain some new skills for the future, Alex’s Place is offering an opportunity to be a part of the Digital Connectors Program. The program, designed and funded by Comcast and hosted at Alex’s Place, gives students a chance to gain basic digital literacy, while also serving the community and offering certification in IT work by Cisco at its conclusion. That is, if they’re willing to commit and work hard during the program’s weekly sessions.

“They’ll do everything,” said program facilitator Tony Lombardi, including understanding how computers work and app creation.

“We even try and cover public speaking and financial literacy,” Mr. Lombardi said. “It’s everything. We try to bring in the humanities into the process because we believe that technology shouldn’t be independent from being human.”

At the end of the program, the 20 students will get a new laptop from Comcast, and, if they pass the Cisco IT certification test, can gain a valuable endorsement on their resume.

“We have kids from past Digital Connectors programs who have been employed in the field because of that certification,” said Mr. Lombardi. “They haven’t even been to college yet.”

As part of the program, the participants must also complete 56 hours of community service which can include activities as diverse as beach cleanups to the Elder Tech Fair once a month in which anyone over the age of 55 can ask the kids questions about technology. This part of the program has in turn proved to be highly popular within the community.

“Kids are natives to the digital world and the rest of us are kind of immigrants,” explained Mr. Lombardi. “So it works out well.”

The program takes place in 14 other locations around the country, most of them in urban areas, unlike Martha’s Vineyard.

To register for the course, interested students should go online to where they can signup. The program is free and lasts for nine months, all of which the participants must complete. The number of students is capped at 20, so all interested are encouraged sing up soon before the classes start in September.

“This is more than just writing a spreadsheet,” said Mr. Lombardi. “It’s important in the real world, and it can make a difference.”