KGHS Student earning I.T. College Credits

An I.T. Career with Strings Attached
Posted on 05/17/2021
(Tonisha Johnson for

A partnership between Akron Public Schools, the University of Cincinnati and Stark State Community College is set to give the IT world a boost.

Over the last year, there was some concern about how students in different career pathways would still earn their college credits and career certifications. While it's been a little bit easier for some, students across the state are working through the impact of COVID-19 on their senior year as best they can.

Kenmore-Garfield senior Omarrion Gibson said he struggled when COVID-19 first hit.

He said he was concerned going into his senior year of high school as to how he'd do. That feeling eased once he found his rhythm with his music and the IT program.

IT instructor John DiDonato made sure Gibson and others didn't fall behind.

“We have collaborated late at night on these things, so he is somebody that I'm not worried about being able to step up to that college level and when he doesn't understand something,” DiDonato said.

This is huge, as some students like Gibson have been learning from home again this year. However, working this way has not only pushed him to be more independent and confident but responsible for his education.

The Early IT program, which Gibson is a part of, is the first of its kind in northeast Ohio. It gives students like him the chance to earn adult certificates which would allow them to ". . . be desktop support personnel, maybe being able to be the hands of an organization to go out and fix PCs or to troubleshoot PCs," DiDonato said.

For Gibson, this works well because he can now combine his love for music with IT.

His instructor explained it this way.

“People that are musically inclined have to do multiple things in their head right, keeping tabs of the music and stuff like, well as programmers logic is very important and being able to do multiple things at a time is very important, multitasking. And so there is a high corollary of people that really enjoyed music and are good software developers.”

With hopes of being a part of a symphony orchestra and traveling for performances one day, the straight-A student is well on his way.

Gibson’s earned college credit for the IT program and recently was accepted into The University of Akron's School of Music. He graduates May 30.

In the meantime, the Early IT program he’s a part of will help to diversify and increase the IT pool of candidates in the state.

To learn more about the program or if you have questions please contact John DiDonato at [email protected] or visit our IT College Credit webpage

Omarrion Gibson working on Visual Basic Program
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