Digital Service Fellows

Digital Service Fellows

About Us

Now in its sixth year, the Digital Service Fellows (DSF) is an award-winning AmeriCorps program for recent Philadelphia high school graduates interested in all aspects of Information Technology, from computer hardware to graphic design. The DSF program is part of the Urban Technology Project (UTP), which empowers communities through meaningful access to technology by working in partnership with the School District, non-profits and private industry. The DSF program is predicated upon several tenants:
  • Technology apprenticeship: learning by doing
  • Service to the community
  • Leadership in schools
  • Transitioning young people into higher education and work through professional development

I.T. Apprenticeship

In the DSF master/apprentice model each Fellow works directly with a Regional Computer Technician or a Digital Media Professional. Fellows provide much needed support to The School District of Philadelphia. This apprenticeship model is a win-win for Fellows, mentors and schools. In a school district the size of Philadelphia’s, the support provided by the Fellows is invaluable.

  • DSFs learn the ins and outs of the I.T. field, receive industry certifications, and a $4,725.00 Education Award, among other benefits.
  • Mentors (technicians and digital media specialists) receive daily assistance in executing the duties of their job.
  • Schools benefit from much needed technical support, and students are given the opportunity to participate in DSF led in-school and after-school technology clubs.

Leadership in the Schools

The Digital Service Fellows program gives members the opportunity to create and facilitate after-school computer clubs for students of all ages. These clubs get students excited about technology while providing a free, educational, and monitored environment for youth during non-school hours. Through these hands-on work-based experiences, Fellows have become great role models for urban youth.


Service to the Community

As an AmeriCorps member, the Digital Service Fellows understand the importance of providing service to their communities. Service projects range from leading technology-training sessions to mentoring youth groups. These experiences give Fellows a complex understanding of Digital Divide issues, thereby empowering them to facilitate democratic access to technology in their communities. At the conclusion of the yearlong program, Digital Service Fellows receive an education award of $4,725 for post-secondary education.


Technology Training & Professional Development

In addition to learning on-the-job work place skills, the Digital Service Fellows are guided through an intensive "Technology Boot Camp." This camp provides in-depth training to the Fellows on a wide range of technology skills prior to their deployment out to assigned sites in the school district. Additionally, throughout their service year, Fellows are given additional professional and technical training, as well as guidance in pursuing further education. Each Digital Service Fellow is provided with the resources and instruction necessary to prepare for various certifications: ICDL AppleCare, A+, and the Adobe Creative Suite.


What people are saying about the Fellows

"The students just enjoy them being here. They just love them. We have a good team here. I wish we could keep them." Computer Teacher working with Digital Miracles Program

"We believe the DSF program is a model program that provides high school graduates the opportunity to develop valuable technology skills, work with the business and educational community and put their skills into action within a real world environment." Corporate Partner

"The Fellow working with our group was knowledgeable, courteous, well-spoken and accommodating. He made learning the computer application effortless." Philadelphia Teachers Attending a PTEC Training

The Digital Service Fellows is a program of the Educational Technology Group, Office of Information Technology, and School District of Philadelphia.


Contact Us


For an application and information packet about the DSF program, send your inquiry in an email to: Naomi Levine, Program Manager, dsf@phila.k12.pa.us, or call 215.299.4680.


Download a copy of the Digital Service Fellows brochure to print.