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24 students to graduate from innovative, free IT program

The DENT IT program offers rare educational opportunities

4/25/2014, 6:07 a.m.
Marquis Dent is the founder of the Delivering Educational Needs Together (D.E.N.T) IT Program (Courtesy photo)

— On Saturday, May 3, 2014, twenty-four students from underserved communities in East Baltimore will graduate from a free program where they received certification that will enable them to obtain gainful employment.

This life-changing opportunity was created through the efforts of Marques Dent, an everyday citizen of Baltimore who has created five similar programs across the city,

“I love creating career opportunities for people in Baltimore City that they would not be able to create for themselves otherwise,” said Dent, who created the D.E.N.T. Program which stands for Delivering Educational Needs Together.

This group of students who will graduate received CompTia A+ Training along with Department of Defense (DoD) caliber training that makes them DoD 8570 compliant in preparation to be hired by government agencies.

Dent holds a Master’s Degree in Information Technology Management from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. He currently works as a help desk supervisor at General Dynamics Information Technology. He understands the value of receiving this kind of training first hand.

That value is showing across the city, too. D.E.N.T has partnered with Living Classrooms Foundation, the New Park Heights CDC and others to bring educational opportunities in the area of IT to Baltimore.

“Education is our biggest asset,” Dent said. “And together, with the proper resources, we can collectively come together to provide Maryland and its residents with employment initiatives, an increased tax base, energized stakeholders, and a vision of true commitment to community Development."

“No one else is offering this caliber of program for free in Baltimore City,” Dent said. “And so our hope is that our students, some of whom are unemployed or underemployed, will be able to build on this course to create a firm foundation of career success.”

The citywide, 12-week program includes intense hardware, software and cyber security training.

“After certification, our students, from the Oliver Community right here in East Baltimore, have the ability [to] work for any of the federal entities— FBI, CIA, DIA, anybody that’s DoD— including the Pentagon.”

Maryland State Delegate Nina Harper, who is also the executive director of the Oliver Community Association, says these training opportunities are beneficial to students at her Center.

“This kind of training can really move these students in our community from unemployment to gainful employment,” she said. “I am happy that students in our community have the opportunity to benefit from this kind of training.”

For more information on the dent program, email Marques Dent at: marquesdent@gmail.com.