iTech Interns and NFN4Good team up for Immokalee Non Profits

Four tech-savvy students of Immokalee’s iTech Learning Center began this week putting their acquired knowledge and skills to work in real-life settings for real-life clients, benefiting themselves and the organizations for which they will work.

Under an intern project designed by the Naples Free-Net’s NFN4Good Technology Support for Nonprofits Program and iTech’s heralded multi-media teacher, Jaime Hernandez, the four students will spend the coming months in practical training and work applications.

Sofia Conzales, Stephen Cambrige, Ashely Williams and Jorge Brito will work on four projects for Immokalee nonprofit organizations under the supervision of Birgit Pauli-Haack, volunteer program manager of NFN4Good program and lead instructor of the non-profit technology training program.

For example, the website of the Empowerment Alliance of Southwest Florida needs updating. Empowerment Alliance Executive Director Dottie Cook has has a long list of topics and stories to be told and illustrated on the website by intern Stephen Cambridge. He wants to work eventually in game design and animation after school, lives in Lehigh Acres and works at Publix in the customer service department.

Cook was among the first supporters of NFN4Good and was also the first to sign up her organization for the interns Naples Free-Net’s Intern Program.

Ashley Williams will work with Immokalee Housing and Family Services. Executive Director Susan Golden recently became a member of NFN4Good and her first big technical task is to upgrade the organization’s current website to a WordPress site and migrate the existing content from a static website to a dynamic site, ready for the social web and the 21st Century.

Williams will be able to apply her extensive multi-media design knowledge in real life story telling about the organization’s programs and its helpfulness to the community. Williams lives in Cape Coral, wants to work as a multi-media designer in the fashion industry and works as a hostess at Olive Garden.

Sofia Gonzales will work with Pauli-Haack and the Immokalee Library’s Silvia Puente on a first-ever community website for the Immokalee Interagency Council. The vision is to provide an online directory of organizations, a community events calendar and announcements. Since 2003, the Naples Free-Net has supported communication among Interagency Council members via LSofts listserv with over 200 subscribers. As a listserve email system, it has always been necessarily non-public. With a new, up-to-date website, the Interagency Council will be able to reach a much wider audience. The new concept will be introduced to the Immokalee Interagency Council forum on February 13. Sofial want to in hospitaliy industry and to run a resort hotel. She, too, lives in Lehigh Acres and works as a make-up artist.

Jorge Brito will be working closely with Birgit Pauli-Haack on producing educational online instruction for NFN4Good members and assist with video editing and other production work on Naples Free-Net’s own website. Jorge’s goal is to work as a producer and filmmaker. He lives in Golden Gate Estates and works as assistant manager at McDonald’s.


Hernandez, iTech’s multi-media design teacher and apple award recipient, iTech’s Principal Dorin Oxeder, NFN volunteer Shelly Lieb and Pauli-Haack first talked about teaming up for the students in Summer 2012. The goal of the internship for the students is to provide them with additional skill sets in content management software, WordPress and real life experience working with non-profit organizations and solving real world online marketing challenges in the 21st century. The program provides opportunities for using online collaboration tools and video conferencing as means of communication among the various participants, students and agency directors.

The Multimedia Design program at iTech focuses on producing the conceptual, technical, and visual design skills required to create multimedia applications and environments. Students will extend their knowledge of professional applications for many programs, including Adobe, digital video editing and more. Hands-on projects will provide essential skills in working in a broad range of media. Biggest challenges for the students is access to computers powerful enough to practice the new skills at home.

NFN4Good is a membership program for nonprofits organizations which includes technical support for self-hosted WordPress website, free monthly WordPress user group meetings and walk-in clinics and a broad range of courses on how to market a nonprofit in the digital world via social networks and e-mail; how to manage technology challenges within the organization such as donor databases and other cloud based systems.

Pauli-Haack has been a volunteer for the Naples Free-Net since 1998 as education chair, webmaster, member of the board of directors and on the tech team. As her dayjob, she runs Pauli Systems, a web and mobile development company, and is a partner in Relevanza, Inc, a social media and communications company which provides consulting services for nonprofit organizations, businesses and corporations.

The Naples Free-Net is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) community network, serving an electronic community with free and low-cost Internet access, free and low-cost computer classes and provides non-profit technology support and training since 1995.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.