What is Hebron IT Academy in 2020?
Starting from 2018, we organize summer camps where we select teenagers that will study at IT Academy. Summer camps last two weeks, during this time 50-60 kids from all over Ukraine visit IT companies in Lviv, play games, and take tests. In the end, we select from 10 to 12 the most motivated and brightest boys to stay at the academy. Our students are usually 16-17 years old. By far, all our students were boys, who have just graduated from orphanages. Hebron IT Academy offers 2-year educational program for students. Accommodation, pocket money, clothes, and healthcare are also provided by the academy . We are going to start the same project for girls, but we need a new house for that. Collecting funds for the academy for girls is one of our priorities. One of the main goals of our academy is to create a self-sustainable organization where alumni would help the students to grow. “One of the main goals of our academy is to create a self-sustainable organization where alumni would help the students to grow”. The study program at Hebron IT Academy includes everyday routine: programming classes, English, math, and history of Ukraine. Programming consists of classes in front end, back end, mobile and blockchain development. We try to develop critical and logical thinking. Besides the main program, we give lectures on time management, marketing, self-branding, business analytics, etc. We bring the brightest people in the industry to come and share proper values to our students. Volunteering is also a necessary part of the program. Our students go to other orphanages with motivational and empowering speeches for unprivileged children. Our students graduate at the age of 18-19, and start working as junior developers straight away. Sometimes we are lucky to have very smart students. One of our students started the academy when he was 16. At that time he didn’t have a place to live in and barely had money for food. Now he's 18 and he is Tech Lead at HebronSoft. Every month he gets offers from different IT companies with higher salaries, but he stays loyal to us. He doesn't leave because at Hebron there are people who are like family to him, and there are younger students he wants to help. However, that's a unique case. Some guys have strong junior level when they graduate, others are more at a trainee level. Still, they have enough skills to find a job: junior or trainee – that's up to them and their efforts. Being emerged in the community of IT specialists helps our students grow fast. All of the boys at Hebron share the interest in tech and are fully focused on success. We created a kind of tech incubator: children learn, practice and discuss their projects. They don't have time to get distracted. One of our graduates who is now a Senior engineer, came to us without knowing how to multiply numbers. After studying at Hebron Academy, most of our students work at HebronSoft. However, others also work at CoreValue, DataArt, Simplify, etc., some are freelancers. Mostly they are junior and middle-level specialists. Hebron Academy is not an incubator for HebronSoft employees but many graduates start working at Hebron. It is easier for them to work with people they already know. Still, working with orphanages is not as easy as it seems. You should always keep in mind that many of these children have been through trauma, and they can be unpredictable. One of our graduates was fired from CoreValue because he didn't show up at work for three days after a fight in his dorm. For others, it is hard to believe in themselves and they give up in the middle of classes. Some students are taking Hebron Academy for granted, but after immersing into the real world they are back with an appreciation of the opportunity they have. Each child has a different path. “Working with orphanages is not as easy as it seems. You should always keep in mind that many of these children have been through trauma, and they can be unpredictable.”