Kenith Lewis III, a Cisco Networking Academy student at HFC, was one of 10 students throughout the United States and Canada – and the only one in Michigan – who was selected as a member of the “Dream Team” and went to CiscoLive! in San Diego this past June.
More than 160 students applied to be part of the “Dream Team,” but only 10 earned selection. These 10 were joined by two instructors, explained Todd Browning, HFC Cisco instructor. The final selections were made based on geographic representation, diversity, technical and professional skills, instructor recommendations, as well as impact outside the classroom.
“I got word that I was selected 30 minutes before work. It certainly made the workday a lot better. I was excited and shocked at the same time,” said Lewis, of Lincoln Park, Mich.
Based in San Jose, Cisco Systems has certified HFC as a Cisco Networking Academy. Through this innovative partnership, HFC and Cisco offer preparation programs for CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician), CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), and CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional). Cisco certifications are consistently rated among the most highly valued certifications within the IT industry by both employers and IT professionals.
The CCENT preparation program consists of two courses and can be completed in one semester. The CCNA program includes either one additional course (to prepare for the CCNA Security certification) or two additional courses (to prepare for the CCNA Routing and Switching certification) and is designed to be completed within one year. Students learn how to install and configure Cisco routers and switches in multi-protocol local and wide-area networks, perform basic troubleshooting and improve network performance and security.
“It’s a true collaborative partnership between HFC, Cisco and employers,” said Browning.
At CisoLive! – Cisco’s largest customer event – the students had the opportunity to work hands-on alongside industry leaders to deploy and support the event’s Network Operations Center (NOC) and support Cisco customers at the Help Desk. Now in its fifth year, the Dream Team has become a vital element to the success of CiscoLive!, demonstrating quality IT talent and helping deliver a positive experience for more than 20,000 attendees.
A 2000 alumnus of Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School in Wyandotte, Mich., Lewis will graduate this fall with his associate degree in Computer Information Systems (CIS)/Network Administration. He has also completed additional coursework in computer science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn (U-M Dearborn). In addition to being enrolled at HFC, Lewis works full-time at Ford Motor Company’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
“It’s an awesome opportunity. We have been blessed to have two HFC students (the first was Garrett McCollum in 2012) in three years be a part of the Dream Team. I am very proud of Ken, who was the only person representing not only HFC, but the entire state of Michigan,” said Browning.
Cisco training can lead to well-paying positions, including Network Support Specialists, Network Control Technicians, Hardware/Telecom Field Support Technicians, LAN/WAN Technicians, Network Systems Technicians. Considerable growth and demand for these positions have been predicted by the Information Technology Association of America, the American Electronics Association and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Learn more about HFC’s Cisco Networking Academy at https://cisco.hfcc.edu/.
Kurt Anthony Krug