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Computer Mentors | Our Mentors
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Our Mentors

Computer Mentors is a place where passion meets empowerment.

Our mentors are credible, business professionals from the technology sector who believe in the growth of our students. Our programs are designed to ensure each of our students’ receive personalized attention from their mentor. This specialized attention ensures students are given the opportunity to develop superior technology skills that are needed to guide them into successful IT careers. Guiding students through each step of the program, our mentors enable students to find courage in their personal abilities. With the help from our mentors there is no limit to success.

The Founder

Founder & Executive Director
Ralph Smith

Ralph_SmithRalph Smith is a 60 year-old computer professional with a passion toward underprivileged youth.  He is the founder and current Executive Director of Computer Mentors Group (CMG). CMG was founded in 1997 as a volunteer project by Ralph.  CMG started with five teenagers and the idea of providing computers for the homes as a reward for learning.  The vision was to form a volunteer network of computer professionals that would mentor minority and “at risk” youth, and point them in the direction of Information Technology (IT) careers.  Ralph originally got the idea of starting a “small computer school for youth” when he volunteered with the Juvenile Justice System in Lansing Michigan when he was 25 years old. Ralph came to Tampa in 1993 and has dedicated himself to this community ever since.  Prior to becoming the full-time director of CMG he held professional computer related positions ranging from computer technician, computer operator, to computer programming, systems analyst, network engineer, and manager. His last fifteen years prior to becoming the full-time director of Computer Mentors Group was with Citibank where he was an Assistant Vice President in the North American Trade Finance Division. Ralph has a wide variety of Information Technology experience.  As an owner of his consulting company R & L Computing Services, Ralph specialized in non-profits and small businesses.  He positioned R & L Computing Services as a one-stop IT company providing technology consulting, web and email hosting, website development, networking, database design and applications, equipment maintenance, and security.

The Initiators

Programs Director
Jeannie Bohn

JeannieJeannie Bohn brings 15 years of business management experience, as well as 3 years of STEM/Robotics instruction in the Charlotte, NC public school system.  Jeannie holds a BBA in Organizational Psychology and Development, an MBA in Healthcare Management, and is certified in Lego EV3 Robotics through Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Academy.  She strongly believes that supplemental STEM education in our youth, especially in our minority and/or underprivileged children, not only boosts achievement scores on standardized testing, but also shows these kids that there are endless opportunities for successful careers in the STEM field.  (STEM is not just for the guys anymore, girls!).  Jeannie is a native of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and has lived in Pennsylvania, Trinidad and Tobago, and North Carolina before relocating to the Tampa Bay area.

The Mentors

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STEM Corps Manager

Meghan Frisco

Meghan began at Computer Mentors in 2004, first as a student studying for her Microsoft Office Certification. After graduating in 2005, Meghan joined the Mentor staff as a Technical Trainer and has since then held a variety of roles within the organization. mfrisco@computermentors.org

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Mentor & KidsCode Manager

Shawn Wilkinson

A dedicated Mentor and a Community Manager with Computer Mentors, Shawn has 20+ years of IT Services and Customer Service experience. Shawn holds a degree in Computer Science and Engineering and has obtained other industry recognized certifications. Shawn has dedicated himself to leading and instructing IT skills to both youth and adults in the community. swilkinson@computermentors.org

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Mobile App Coordinator

Shane Andrews

After eight years of military service and three kids Shane realized his true passion was with computers and decided to chase his dream of getting into the IT field. Through Computer Mentors he is making a difference in the community while mentoring kids.

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Mentor

Nyjel Dukes

Nyjel began at Computer Mentors as a student in 1999 until he left for college in 2006. Nyjel returned as a Mentor after earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Game Design.

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Mentor

Chris Willingham

Chris brings his experience as a developer and his enthusiasm for robotics and rocketry.

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Mentor

James Rock

James Rock is in the Computer Science & Engineering program at University of South Florida. At Computer Mentors James mentors high school students through video production projects and assists with the KidsCode program.

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Mentor

Andrew Hagelin

Andrew brings his experience as a developer and mentors students in the Mobile App Development tech track.

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Mentor

David Nunez

David is a Computer Mentors alumni who now attends Hillsborough Community College. When he is not busy with his studies, David mentors high school students who are pursuing the Web tech track in STEM Corps.

Board of Trustees

Chairperson

Machelle Maner

VP Community Development Officer, Community Relations, Wells Fargo

Vice-Chairperson

Wendell Duggins

CEO W&D Associates, LLC

Secretary

Akinlawon Tabari Frierson

Senior Technical Specialist, Citigroup

Board Member

David Eason

CEO, Pario Solutions

Board Member

Kim Estrada

Corporate Relations - TECO Energy

Board Member

Altren W Neumann IV

System Engineer, Suncoast Credit Union

Board Member

Mark Foust

Technology Strategist, Microsoft

Board Member

Solomon Davis Jr.,

Owner, Sol Davis Printing

Board Member

Mark LaPlante

Director, Software Engineering, ConnectWise, Inc.

Board Member

Jim Gossett

Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer at SCTC

Board Member

Derek Holmes

CEO, Tec-Link

Board Member

E. Bobby Wilson

Senior VP, Bank of America Merrill Lynch


Board Member

Debbie Haas

VP Shared Technology, JP Morgan & Chase Co.

Board Member

Ed Selkow

Co-founder of Scientific Maintenance Corporation



The Honors Board

Arthenia Joyner  Supporter and State Senator | Betty Reed  Former Board Member and State House Member | Bob Buckhorn  Former Board member and Mayor of Tampa | David Omlor  Former CMG Board Chair | Hank Gill  Former CMG Board Chair | Juan Davis  Former CMG Board Chair | Shirley Houston  Former CMG Board Chair | Susanne Gill  Former CMG Board Chair