Hello, and thank you for attending today's Virtual Internship info session for Anvaya Feats and 3S Tech & Talent.
My name is LaToya Smith. I am the co-founder and CEO of 3S Tech and Talent, as well as the founder and executive director for Anvaya Feats nonprofit organization.
Today, we'll be going over our virtual internship program, some frequently ask questions, and a little guidance on how to apply or learn more about the virtual internship opportunity.
A little about Anvaya Feats. Anvaya Feats is a nonprofit organization.
We are a 501c3, that advocates for and provides opportunities for visibility, growth, and employment to use persons with diverse-abilities and marginalized communities, both in the US and worldwide.
We do this by engineering inclusive and accessible project opportunities and environments and encouraging inclusive and diverse organizational cultures.
We specialize in leveraging our virtual paid internship program, to develop creative and holistic solutions to niche challenges for our customers and end users, especially those from marginalized communities and those with disabilities or underserved causes.
Anvaya Feats is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned organization, women, and minority owned.
Our vision is to create an international community of inclusive thinkers and compassionate influencers, who eliminate stigmas placed on marginalized communities and persons with disabilities. Anvaya Feats supports a number of different groups and causes, but to name a few, we support persons with disabilities, the LGBTQ plus community, women and girls, religious freedom, indigenous and minority groups.
As I mentioned, we do support multiple groups internationally, and do not take the list that is displayed as a exclusive list for those that we seek to serve.
Some of the frequently ask questions about our internship. One is, What makes our internship program different?
I can say that one of the biggest aspects or differences in our program is that it's 100 % virtual.
But the second biggest difference is that we build our internship, our four phases of the program, on our pillars of success.
For those who are new to 3S, the three Ss, stand for Standards plus Strategy, equals Success.
And for those that are new to the concept of Anvaya Feats, the term Anvaya is a Sanskrit word which loosely translates into “family”.
When you put that together, we have a formula for bringing togetherness, inclusion, diversity, but also establishing a standard for ourselves and those that we serve.
The four pillars that we are discussing throughout our program are related to foundation, engagement, investigation, and support.
In any relationship, whether it be business, professional, romantic, friendship, even family, you have to have a solid foundation, and we do this at the beginning of every encounter.
For our interns, we do this by providing them with stability and a point of reference throughout the program and throughout their relationship in working with it, You need that foundation in order to have proper engagement.
Proper engagement leads to conversation that help us to explore and identify solutions to problems and to conduct full investigations for troubleshooting and developing solutions to both technical and personnel challenges.
When we're done, we really do focus on supporting individuals and clients and companies through implementation of the solution.
We don't want to do the work for the clients. We want to empower them and enable them to solve problems for themselves and identify solutions for the future.
We think it's wiser to teach an individual to fish, than to do it for them.
Our hope is that building this trust, building the relationship and building their foundation will lead us to new opportunities in the future.
And that's one of the lessons we seek to teach our interns.
Another frequently asked question is, what career path can interns explore? Interns have a number of training and focus areas to choose from.
They include IT and DevOps, Learning and Development, Business and Organizational Solutions, and real world projects and experiences through our applications, games and passion projects. Combined, the leadership across Anvaya Feats and 3S Tech & Talent spans 50 years of hands-on experience.
We have experienced both in military, civilian health care, and professional environments.
Our experience is something that we seek to give away.
We seek to empower others, inform, and give our interns the opportunity to explore, make mistakes, and discover new pathways for themselves in a safe environment that allows them to learn by doing, replicating, and then show mastery by explaining to and showing others.
Another frequently asked question, How are interns building real world experience in these areas?
One big area is our web application RFPQuick.
It's part of our 1000 % Strong Initiative.
It's a web application that are interns and our team members have worked together to develop that is both accessible and affordable.
It's a solution for those who are seeking government contract and proposal opportunities, I should say, those who are seeking government contracts and grant opportunities and require the generation of proposals in order to submit, in order to compete for set opportunities.
As someone who's actually experienced the number of challenges in the government contracting realm, I can say that for many who are socio-economically disadvantaged, getting through the business development process and then the contracting requirements, can be daunting.
After experiencing this personally, I went to my team and asked them to help develop a solution.
While I've created the training and professional business development program, I worked with interns with divers-abilities and capabilities to develop an application that is both affordable and works with assistive technology and screen readers like NVDA, JAWS, Chrome Vox, and keyboard navigation.
Our in turn, are constantly working to find ways to improve both the program and the application, and also provide insight as to what users are experiencing and how we can improve all over.
Another area that our interns have the opportunity to work in is with our suite of passion projects, they can choose from two of our online, accessible games, one for Anvaya Kids, called Emoji Match, and the second, Anvaya Feats: Shadow Rush.
Both games are primarily online games, that encouraged the use of laptops and computers rather than smart devices.
The reason we focus on this is because, for the most part, there is a trend towards using smart devices rather than computers for engaging with digital content.
As part of our internship initiative, we want our interns and want to encourage those who are using the games or software applications, to use the computer, to use the keyboard, to use assistive technology in a way that's going to help them to build confidence, proficiency, and the technical skills necessary to pursue the career opportunities that they are interested in.
We leveraged the Anvaya Feats story, the characters, and the creative solutions, whether it be games, stories, graphic design, illustrations, to help, interns, learn more about using assistive technology in a professional capacity.
Another frequently asked question: How are interns with diverse-abilities able to build skills in the tech and creative industry?
One of the big focuses of the Anvaya Feats nonprofit organization are Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.
We develop strategic partnerships, as one of our focus areas.
This helps us to ensure that Anvaya Feats succeeds in accomplishing sustainable development goals, while shoring up efforts undertaken by other likeminded organizations, like Enabled Play in Africa Comicade.
We have currently partnered with Africa Comicade to provide additional virtual internship opportunities to African youth across the continent.
We are doing this by providing them with real world experience and paid opportunities, so that they can build the skills and experience necessary to support themselves, their families, and their communities.
Our second partnership is with organizations like, Enabled Play.
Enabled Play provides a solution that enables individuals with diverse-abilities to engage with games and computer programs and applications and devices.
We are using Enable Play not just to test our games that are being developed by our team, but we are also receiving free access to the Virtual Control beta for Enabled Play that will allow our in terms to build skills and experience with business applications of programs.
This allows them to really level the playing field when it comes to working with project management, business impact processes and systems that are more widespread in the working environment.
Again, we learn by doing, and Enable Play will allow our interns to practice in a safe environment and then go on to show employers with their really capable of.
Some of our other sustainable development goals, are helping to end poverty by enabling our community with today's business and technical skill sets, that will lead to independence and financial stability.
Another is ensuring quality education, by helping community members and giving access to free and low cost educational resources for learners with disabilities and those with socioeconomic barriers.
Another is helping to move the needle towards gender equality, by elevating the voices of girls and women through social platforms and forums that welcome their stories and contributions.
One way we're doing this is by integrating stories and experiences into the Anvaya Feats and Anvaya Kids book series.
The Sustainable Development Goal for good Jobs, contributing to good jobs and economic growth Happens by offering internship opportunities that promote social entrepreneurship and business development. And then finally, promoting innovation and infrastructure for more accessibility in technology, gaming, business, and education.
How long is the program? How much time does it require that our inter dedicate to it?
This internship program is just one track of many. For the Anvaya-3S program, it is a twelve week program.
For many at the state level, they are entering an OJT program through vocational rehabilitation. That is typically twelve weeks long, and will range from between 10 to 40 hours a week.
Keep in mind that these are all paid hours! But the hourly rates and the number of hours are dictated by the States Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
We will work with each individual to determine what the limitations are and what the hourly rates can be. Because we will push to ensure that each hourly rate is at or above the minimum wage for the state, as you are developing technical and business skills that really help you to increase your earning potential; and we all know that that goes far beyond the minimum wages that are currently being offered.
When we are working through our internship program, we work to be advocates at every stage of the program. From onboarding, where you're learning about the industry, the business focus area that you've chosen, and working with a global team. To professionalism, where you are learning about
business practices that are specific to your industry, but also learning about the accommodation
requirements that you will need to master, in order to serve in that area.
We focus on business ethics, really understanding what the culture is for an organization and their mission, and also identifying how your personal goals and ethics align with those.
You'd really want to make sure that the organization you're joining is a good fit and that it is also a good fit for you…It works both ways.
Each intern, during the second phase of the program, is learning a lot about project management.
Every intern learns about project management fundamentals, establishing deadlines, requirements and milestones for themselves. So that they can then apply these same principles to the projects and the work that they do in the future.
Usually between phases two and four, I should say, two and three; three being business improvement research.
We are really working to rev up the efforts for our in turn to seek employment.
We work with the platform Inclusively to ensure that each intern is paired with a list of opportunities in their chosen area of focus.
Inclusively, I always say, is like Indeed and LinkedIn got together and developed a new solution, or a baby, that focuses specifically on opportunity for the DEI and accessibility talent pool. Employers have a number of wonderful opportunities available to members of the community.
However, we are working as advocates to help bridge the gap between the candidates and the opportunities that are being offered.
We do this by helping to build resumes, build professional profiles, and work as a liaison between our candidates and the companies doing the hiring.
We want to make sure that the employers are fully aware of all accommodation needs and the needs that will help to ensure retention beyond just employment each candidate. For the 3rd and 4th phase of the program, we are constantly working with the intern to help them become a subject matter expert in their own right.
Through stage three, they are researching products or solutions in their focused area or industry, business processes and opportunities for improvement.
The big focus here is for, interns to understand how to research a solution, how to identify problems, and then how to present them to a potential employer in the future.
As they learn to do this research, they are also working to develop what will be the main focus of Stage Four, which is their capstone project.
What they are doing is building a business recommendation, that they will then have in their virtual portfolio to present to employers in the future.
The help show what their capable of, how they work, how they solve problems, and how they develop new solutions.
It is our goal to ensure that either interviews or job offers are being offered to the candidate by stage four of the program.
Next question, what are the eligibility requirement?
First I will say that we do not have a maximum age cut off.
We have offered internship opportunities to individuals as youngest 14 and as experienced at 52.
We believe that everyone deserves an opportunity, regardless of the stage of life or career exploration they are in.
But for the compensated program, especially those who are involved with vocational rehab, we do need to make sure that your condition or ability is documented and that you are enrolled with the Social Security, SSDI.
We do this to ensure that we can help you receive state compensation for your time, but we also want to make sure that you have the additional supports necessary so that we ensure retention for the new careers you are pursuing.
It should be eligible for vocational rehabilitation programs, but the biggest requirement is that each individual is intrinsically motivated, meaning your self motivated and willing to push yourself to get through this program.
It does require work. It also requires a willingness to stretch, which means a willingness to step beyond your comfort zone in order to achieve the goal that you set for yourself.
I always tell interns, I can't want it enough for you.
You have to want it for yourself, and you have to be willing to work towards it.
That is one of the biggest requirements of our program.
And I work each week with intern to ensure that that motivation is there, and that the stretch is manageable, and that they see the success and they see the accomplishments they are making for themselves.
Next question, how do candidates apply?
We actually have a number of ways to reach out to the team, but if you visit our website, we do have a page specifically dedicated to our virtual internship cohort.
Towards the bottom of the page, there are two buttons.
One is for applications, the other is to request additional information or schedule a meeting with me one on one.
By clicking on the accepting application, October 15th button.
Visitors will be taken to our Google form, which serves as our application.
Each candidate is asked to answer each of the questions.
If for any reason, this application is difficult to navigate, we can schedule a one-on-one session to complete the application with you.
It's pretty straightforward. Many are yes and no questions or multiple choice.
We do ask that each application is completed thoroughly, and there is an option to submit a resume at the end, but it is not a requirement.
We understand that not everyone is at the same stage of their career or experience, so we’ve tried to make the application as inclusive and accessible as possible.
And that is the overall summary of our virtual internship program.
I thank you for setting aside some time today for this review.
I invite each of you to contact me via LinkedIn, email, Facebook, your chosen platform, and schedule time to speak with me one on one about application steps, candidates that you might like to recommend for our program, and also opportunities for strategic partnerships.
It definitely takes a village to make this program work, and we are constantly looking for new partners, sponsors, and supporters to ensure that the program is successful and that each intern is successful.
I thank you for your time.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out.
And until then, they say, stay healthy and have a good one!