We close digital literacy gaps that help close opportunity gaps.

About Us 

With a mission to increase the knowledge and use of technology of youth and adults preparing them for success, in both school and career, and in a constantly changing digital society, the core of Concept for Adaptive Learning’s (CfAL) work is to close the digital literacy gap for those we serve.  

 

CfAL’s Technology & Computer Training (TCT) program provides technology training and resources to low-income residents, helping them build computer skills needed to be competitive in the workforce, as well as providing free refurbished computers to those that complete the program.  CfAL’s TCT has supported over 4,750 families across Connecticut to gain computers skills needed in the workplace.   In fact, during the past 18 months, participant surveys showed that 42.55% of participants improved employment status, which in turn helped improve their financial and economic status.  Another 23.4% of participants reported that the CfAL Technology & Computer Training program helped retain employment. 

With 20 years of experience, CfAL than leads free technology education programs and workshops that close the digital learning gap for youth and adults.  More just receiving a free computer, CfAL provides the knowledge needed to use the computer to empower youth and adults to be successful in an everchanging digital society. 

 

Serving the Greater New Haven area, participant surveys reveal that over 60% live at or below poverty, 91% of those served identify as a minority population (e.g. Black, LatinoX, Asian, etc.), and 73% participants are between the ages of 18 and 44.  To accomplish CfAL’s mission, CfAL’s Technology & Computer Training (TCT) Program for Adults focuses on job skill development (e.g. create resumes, convert resumes to PDFs, search for jobs online, etc.); while the Technology & Computer Program for Youth (Tech4Teens) emphasizes how to safely express themselves online developing website, videos, podcasts and coding projects.  CfAL also offers 30-minute workshops, Tech Talks, that introduce a variety of technology applications.  Past Tech Talk topics include Understanding the Impact of Technology on Child Development, Navigating Google Classroom: What Parents Need To – and Don’t Need to Know, and Virtual Stranger Danger: Importance of Talking with Children About Online Activity.

Our Mission

To increase the knowledge and use of technology of youth and adults preparing them for success, in both school and career, and in a constantly changing digital society.

Our Vision

Our vision is that ALL households should have access to the technology that will help them succeed in school and career.

Having a computer and technology in the home for school and work is a necessity – not a luxury.  CfAL’s work to close the technology gap for New Haven students and families by providing:

  1.  basic computer training for parents and adults,

  2.  free computers to families that do not have a working computer    at home, and

  3.  programs that further digital learning.

 

Board of Directors

CfAL is lead by a group of experienced

and dedicated community members.

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Curtis Hill
Founder

Curtis is a Founding Board member, and has over 30 years experience working in information technology.  He has worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, acquired by Compaq Computer Corporation then Hewlett Packard Corporation, in software development, systems analysis, project and program management and customer service management. He has worked as a consultant to numerous Fortune 100 companies.

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Jim Mitchell
Board Chair,
Governance Committee Chair

James is a Marketing Manager with Comcast, who has worked for Comcast in a variety of marketing and advertising positions with increased responsibility since 2002. His expertise in marketing and advertising, have helped support various organizations, specifically with brand strategy and the implementation of internal and external marketing campaigns.

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DaShawn Robinson
Board Vice Chair,
Programs Committee Chair

DaShawn is a small business owner and data analyst whose company, Evolve Bac, invests in startups, small businesses, and business projects. His experience in using technology to train employees to use technology in the workplace for large firms such as Yale Medical Group, provides invaluable guidance to using technology to develop training programs for CfAL participants, both in-person and virtual.

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Gary Smith
Board Treasurer,
Finance Committee Chair

Gary is a Director at Marcum and  has more than 15 years of experience managing, conducting, reviewing and analyzing financial information for various industries, including healthcare, not-for-profit, governmental, pension plans and manufacturing and distribution.  Mr. Smith’s experience includes a combination of both private company and public accounting, including experience with a “Big 4” accounting firm.

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Amy Pacelli
Secretary Development, Fundraising Committee Chair

Amy Pacelli is an Account Executive at SphereGen Technologies located in the District in New Haven, Connecticut. SphereGen Technologies is a software consulting firm, specializing in delivering high quality solutions for small businesses in healthcare, education, and manufacturing. Since joining SphereGen in 2017, Amy has worked on deepening the connection to the local economy, by developing partnerships with local Connecticut businesses and clients. SphereGen holds a patent on holographic eye refraction and recently received global recognition from Microsoft for their work in cutting edge technology.   Previous to joining SphereGen, Amy worked for Taylor and Francis, a textbook publisher in Hamden and also was a teacher with Teach for America in Hartford, Connecticut. In her spare time, Amy enjoys creative writing, watching Netflix and hanging out with family.

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Damaris Garcia
Board Chair, Governance & Fundraising Committee

Damaris Garcia has more than 12 years in the financial services industry and is a Vice President at Liberty Bank. Prior to working for Liberty Bank, she was the Vice President for RBS Citizens N.A. (Citizen’s Bank) where she was responsible for the administration and efficient daily operation of a full service branch office, including operations, lending, product sales, customer service, security and safety.  Ms. Garcia provided a superior level of customer relations, promoted the sales and service culture through coaching, guidance and staff motivation, and provided leadership, training and supervision.  Ms. Garcia also participated in community affairs to increase the Bank's visibility, enhancing new and existing business opportunities.

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Yasir Hamid
Board Member,
Program Committee Member

Yasir has more than 14 years’ experience teaching Arabic, and is a lecturer at Fairfield University. He is the founder of the Arabic Language Learning Program (a private academic organization that develops new Arabic programs in area universities) in New Haven, CT, and has taught Arabic at Yale University and in the Rassias Accelerated Language Programs at Dartmouth College. He has successfully developed Arabic language programs at several US institutions, including Wesleyan University, Fairfield University, and the University of New Haven.

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Toni Harp
Board Member, Finance & Governance Committee

On January 1, 2014, Toni N. Harp was sworn in as the first female Mayor of the City of New Haven, CT. Prior to being the mayor, she was a State Senator serving ten terms as the Connecticut State Senator. As a State Senator, Toni Harp is recognized for her contributions to sound and progressive public policy.

Teja Shariff
Board Member,
Finance Committee
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Teja is a certified CPA, and operates a small business in Branford, CT.  Teja is an experienced Managing Partner with a demonstrated history of working in the accounting industry offering services in: tax, strategic planning, financial planning and financial analysis. 

Staff (coming soon)

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Interested in joining us?

CfAL is looking for professionals and community members who want to help close the digital learning gap.  

Board Member and year-round volunteer positions are available!   

Contact us to learn more!

Contact Us

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