Lakeside High School senior, Olajuwan Smith, 17, has taken it upon himself to create and teach basic and intermediate computer literacy classes at G.O. Ministries on Station Avenue.
Smith said he started teaching his first basic level computer class in May. His current class is intermediate level and made up of students that graduated from the first class. Upon completing the first class, each student received an ASUS laptop with Windows 8, made possible by a grant from the York Foundation.
Smith developed his own curriculum, syllabus, quizzes, tests and assignments. His current class has six students, the oldest one being 90 years old. Classes are held Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
He said he wants to go to college for computer engineering, but his students insisted he should go for a teaching degree. “Olajuwan is a great teacher,” said Dee Jones. “He’s very knowledgeable. He makes sure we all understand.”
Student Mae Salters said, “It was an inspiration to complete our studies knowing we’d get a laptop for completing. I was computer illiterate before I came to this class.”
Salters, whose husband is the pastor at G.O. Ministries, said they are seeking a grant to get an elevator or wheel chair lift for the stairs because the class is held on the second floor and many senior citizens are interested in the class.
Smith said computers and equipment used in the classroom were provided by Patrick Colucci, the Superintendent of Ashtabula Area City Schools.
Smith will graduate in May, and has already been accepted to West Virginia University, and said he has
applied to Ohio University, and is in the process of applying to Ohio State University.
“We hope to have him back for classes during his breaks,” Salters said.