There are many forms of philanthropy, but giving of yourself and your talents falls into a special category. If you have ever visited the eTEAM on a Saturday morning, you’ve no doubt met many of the Sarasota area high school students who volunteer here, and make up the eTEAM. These wonderfully talented students assist residents with electronics, such as cell phones, computers, tablets, printers, and various other devices. Currently, we have a team of seven students: Matthew Jacobs, Brandon Kennedy, Tyler Lundy, Paul Nicowski, Natasha Nieckoski, Jared White, and Stephen Yaegers. Each of these students is generous and skilled, and we are ever so grateful for their time. The student with the longest tenure as an eTEAM member is Jared White. He was our first student member, and he has just celebrated two years with us, giving over 130 hours of his time to the eTEAM. This fall, he will be going into his senior year at Suncoast Polytechnical High School. But, do not fret…he is not going away. He’ll be with us until he graduates, we hope. Please enjoy reading a recent conversation I had with Jared.

You recently received a special certification. Can you tell us more about that?
The certifications I recently received are known as the CompTIA A+ and Network+, which are certifications designed to show my skill set in the computer and network technician field, respectively. In addition to the competitiveness of the certifications, they also weight with them an equivalent of 6 months on the job training, of which I credit to the multitude of experiences I achieved through working with the residents living at Plymouth Harbor.

You have been attending Suncoast Polytechnical High School. What attracted you there?
From the beginning of Polytech—the nickname many have coined for Suncoast Polytechnical High School as a result of its length—the idea surrounding the school was to equip students with the tools they need to either go on to be bountiful additions to our community in Sarasota in terms of the workforce or to go onto college equipped with the tools they need to succeed in the modern setting of university life. This initially attracted my sister, Megan White, who attended the school the second year it opened as a member of the class of 2016. Along with the school’s A rating and priority seating at SCTI (now known as STC) my family has always been comfortable with the fact that I had choices when graduating from high school, a choice many don’t have when they graduate.

What has your focus in high school been to this point?
Up to this point, my goal has always been consistently the same, though it has changed from working as a technician in the Sarasota area to attending a university to study computer science, as I still plan to do once I graduate from SPHS. With this degree plan, I plan to move on to working as either a database or network engineer.

Have you enjoyed being an eTEAM member?
Volunteering at Plymouth Harbor has been a great joy, as I have not only been able to expand my customer service and social skills, but also my technical experience with practical problems that I will undoubtedly encounter in the entry-level workforce. I would like to personally thank everyone at Plymouth Harbor for the experiences I’ve had, and hope that my service from here forward will continue to be as meaningful to you as it is to me.