iSisters holds first virtual graduation at Stepstone House.

In response to added pressures of education during COVID-19, iSisters was able to continue providing many virtual programs and now has developed a process to host a virtual graduation for learners at our partner program, Stepstone House. 

Stepstone House provides transitional housing to refugee claimants and newcomers in Ottawa.  The home for women provides shelter, food, settlement support and integration information while the women pursue the necessary processes with immigration, legal aid and Ontario Works.

As a result of COVID-19 we were able to easily transition to online virtual classes allowing us to reach our learners.  It is our role as community leaders to encourage learning to continue and prove to our learners that this is exactly why the programs we teach are so valuable.  Technology is the way of the future and we are here to help keep what our learners learn relevant.

“We saw a need to celebrate this great success and were able to quickly pivot from our usual in-person celebration,” said Ann McSweeney, Executive Director, iSisters.

“As we paused our traditional course delivery, it was apparent that we could continue with many of our programs and coach our learners through the tremendous skills and determination of our instructors.”

Computer literacy can open a world of opportunity for these women, most not having confidence to pursue courses in their vulnerable circumstances.

We are proud to work with our partners to continue to provide our learners with the support and recognition they deserve.

BACKGROUND

Founded in 2001, iSisters Technology Mentoring is a registered charitable organization that connects women in need with technology through mentoring.  The organization increases the economic earning potential and independence for women in poverty in Ottawa-Carleton who are unemployed, have limited education or depend on government services for basic needs.  Most of our learners do not have access to computers or the internet.

Since its inception, iSisters has graduated over 3200 women.  The demand for our programs is both amazing and sobering.  Young women are being employed, are seeking a higher education and have the confidence to move forward in their lives.

“The purpose of this letter is to tell everybody how the computer course has helped me in achieving my goals. Right now I am taking a Masters course at Ottawa University where I need...

Yaquelin, iSisters student

“I am taking the iSisters level 3 computer course and have found it very, very useful.  It has opened many, many locked doors in front of me. I have a new job.  They gave...

Sarah, iSisters student

“Cornerstone offers a variety of programs and services that we hope one day will enable women to move out of the shelter with a tool box full of skills.  One of these programs is...

Transition worker, Cornerstone

I am a computer student in the iSisters course taught by Zahide.  I find the course extremely helpful.  Zahide explains the material step by step.   It is very helpful as the skills are very...

Charmaine, iSisters graduate

“As a result of our partnership with iSisters, Youville Centre has been able to integrate technology into the curriculum and provide our young mothers with computer opportunities to enhance their future studies and careers....

Judith Sarginson, Executive Director, Youville Centre