ATLANTA – Penfield College student Felicia Tillman was recently selected by the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) as one of 22 Digital Inclusion Fellows worldwide.
The fellowship program was developed in 2015 by NTEN and Google Fiber to address the digital divide that results from an estimated 60 million Americans who are not online. Research shows that 34 percent of people who are not online do not see the web as relevant to their lives, while an additional 32 percent find it difficult to use a computer or navigate the Internet.
Digital Inclusion Fellows seek to address these problems of relevancy and digital literacy through sustained work with local organizations, community leaders and the private sector.
Tillman, a second-year student in Penfield College's counselor education and supervision doctoral program, will partner with national nonprofit organization PowerMyLearning to increase digital literacy efforts and programs in the Atlanta area.
“As a Digital Inclusion Fellow, I look forward to assisting in bridging the digital divide, thus empowering adult learners to engage in the use of technology in their career and life endeavors,” said Tillman.
NTEN will provide a stipend for Tillman to work at PowerMyLearning for one year and will also provide matching grants to help the organization fund new programs.
Tillman, an associate professional counselor and civil engineer by trade, earned her master's degree in community counseling from Mercer in 2008. She has focused her continuing education on community engagement and utilizing narrative interviewing to capture empowering stories of the marginalized. She has also mentored students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields to prepare them for the evolving workforce.
The second cohort of NTEN's Digital Inclusion Fellows was selected from hundreds of applicants as the most skilled and passionate advocates. The group brings an incredibly diverse array of backgrounds, skills and experiences to the fellowship and the host organizations. The fellows will begin the program with a one-week training in Portland, Oregon, later this summer before returning to their home cities.
NTEN's partners for the program include Google Fiber, which helped design the program and provided a sponsorship that includes covers a salary for fellows, a small grant for each city and NTEN's administrative costs. Additionally, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation underwrote the fellowship in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the first cohort, and Capital One invested in the second cohort. For more information, visit www.nten.org/community/dif.
About Penfield College of Mercer University
Penfield College of Mercer University, established as the College of Continuing and Professional Studies in 2003, is committed to serving non-traditional learners and currently enrolls more than 1,300 students. Undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs are offered to working adult learners seeking professional advancement into leadership roles in and beyond their communities. Educational programs provide students with distinctive, multidisciplinary programs that integrate theory and practice. The College offers general education and elective courses for various colleges and schools at Mercer. Another initiative called the Bridge program transitions students enrolled in Mercer's English Language Institute and other international students to undergraduate programs throughout the University. Areas of study include organizational leadership, counseling, human services, human resources, informatics, criminal justice leadership, nursing preparation, liberal studies, psychology, communication, homeland security and emergency management, and healthcare leadership. Programs are offered on Mercer's campuses in Atlanta and Macon, as well as multiple regional academic centers in Douglas County, Henry County and Newnan, and online. To learn more, visit penfield.mercer.edu.