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January 27th, 2011 by Admin

Hello, and welcome to the partial list of project pages for the UIUC engagement with the Peer Ambassadors program at the Champaign Mental Health Center in Champaign, IL.  For their official websites, please visit and

Followup from Karen

July 30th, 2009 by Admin

First of all thank you so much for setting up the computer lab here at the Peer Ambassadors space and for the training.

Now that we have the computers everyone realizes how much we still need to learn  which is wonderful.

But any cheat sheets you can give us will be helpful.

I know a few of you will return to the office next week to trouble shoot any problems and I wanted to give you a heads up about a couple of things we need your help sorting out.

1. We have one computer that currently won’t connect to the computer. We’re tried all the normal trouble shooting things (turn it off, unplugging and replugging cables, etc) but its been unsuccessful.

2. The printer is spooling slowly….this could be a routing thing..but we’d like to see if we can fix it.

3. The computers that we previously owned we can’t get connected to the printer. This isn’t the ‘end of the world’ we may get another printer eventually for that office but it would nice if we could work on fixing the problem at least temporarily.

Again, we believe that the computer lab will be a great resource for youth and families…..

Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

Karen Simms/Peer Ambassadors

Progress Report 7/30/09

July 30th, 2009 by Admin

Training: Progress to date:

Summary of Lesson at Peer Ambassadors for July 28, 2009
Topic: Networking Lesson (Rob & Renee)

1) Question and Response – What is a network?
2) Described the General Parts of a Network for the kids:
Nodes, NIC, Media & Interconnect Device
3) Talked about the Different Types of Networks:
4) Explained Client-server architecture
eg. email client, server
5) Explained Network Protocols
eg. http

Activity: Make a Network Map:

  • Showed them the poster of the Network
  • Individually Diagram of your lab
  • Work together on a poster

Catalog Computer Lesson:

Peer Ambassadors Catalog Computer:

  • Installed Alexandria
  • Installed Wikipedia for SchoolsCreated worksheets with instructions for use of both and saved to computer desktop (for easy access to detention center administrators who will be the primary users) and gave a print copy to Peer AmbassadorsBrief training on Alexandria with four of the Peer Ambassadors (Maybe some of it sunk in!) I reminded them that THEY would be the ones training the site administrators.

Network Troubleshooting:
Click on the Network icon , Check the Ethernet cables, restart the network router,
Double check the Ethernet cables, looking for working lights, Find out the IP address, Use “ping” and “traceroute”.

To be done:
May have a lesson for Peer Ambassadors but the activity will most likely be more hands on.

1. Overview of project
2. Priorities
3. Risks to accomplishing project
4. Goals for this week
5. Support needed

Teen Tech:
As of July 23
Found 9 computers with Windows XP tags.
Nuked at least 10 computers using dBan to wipe any existing data on the hard drive.
Installed Windows XP on 9 computers. Installed while not on the network.
Installed Windows upgrades on 9 computers.
Installed ClamWin and Adaware on 5 computers.
Created user accounts on 5 computers: gslisadmin, siteadmin, Teen Tech Limited.

To Do:
Install Linux on 1 computer.
Install any antivirus software or updates on Linux computer.
Install ClamWin and Adaware on remaining Windows computers.
Set up user accounts on remaining Windows computers.

As of July 30
Installed Linux on remaining computer.

To Do:
Check that antivirus software, updates and all security steps have been installed on Windows computers.
Set up user accounts on 4 Window computers and 1 Linux computer.

Peer Ambassadors:
As of July 23
Identified network needs of location.
dBanned 7 computers.
Installed Linux on 7 computers.

Software Update:
The computers have all been installed with all the proper software. Nothing new to report.

Peer Ambassadors Computer Lab Install

July 23rd, 2009 by Admin

Our project group is now planning on setting up the computers this coming Tuesday July 28th. We are shooting for a 1PM arrival. Based on the success of last Tuesday’s session we’re going to have a few activities planned for the teens, but we also want to leave room to let them explore the new machines.

Here are the open issues to figure out before the lab setup is complete:
1. Installing filtering software (We are going to use OpenDNS, but we aren’t sure if we should install it on each computer, or if we can login to the router.
2. The IS group is working on a script that will delete anything saved on the computer at logout., that needs to be put on the machines
3. The printer needs to be networked
4. We still haven’t gotten word back from Karen about purchasing a router.

As I said before, everyone’s email is in the address, so feel free to continue this communication.

Progress report 7/23/09, Presented to Adam & recorded for Martin:

July 23rd, 2009 by Admin


Teen Tech (ESL) 7/18/09:

1) BIOS:
a. Explained what it is and how it works
b. Had the kids go into BIOS and find the memory, CPU speed, and Storage
c. Change boot order

2) RAM Upgrade:
a. Showed kids how to take off cover
b. Add faster RAM card
c. Go back to BIOS and see change in memory

3) Operating Systems:
a. Talked about different OS, and an OS does
b. Talked about licensing, esp. regarding Windows
c. Install Open Office in Windows.

4) Linux:
a. Kids given Linux Mint disks to run from CD drive
b. Played with Open Office in Linux Mint

  • word processing, etc.
    c. Discuss advantages & Disadvantages of Linux vs Windows
  • They wanted to see Mac OS X operating system

5) Finished installing Software (Firefox, etc) for Windows computers.

Remaining Training?:

How to setup network?
Explain how network works
Teach them about IP address, etc.

Peer Ambassadors 7/21/09:

1) BIOS:
a. Explained what it is and how it works
b. Had the kids go into BIOS and find the memory, CPU speed, and Storage
c. Change boot order to CD

2) Install Linux Mint:
a. Discuss advantages & Disadvantages of Linux vs Windows
b. Kids given Linux Mint disks
c. Kids installed Linux by going through installation steps, time, etc.
d. Did not set up partition

3) Hardware Exercise:

a. Talked about how to open case
b. Gave kids diagram of inside of computer & pointed out main parts
c. Had kids take apart and put back together
d. Tested to see if the computers ran

4) Explore Open Office in Linux:
change background, open applications, etc.

5) RAM Upgrade:
a. Added RAM card

Remaining Training?:

How to setup network?
Explain how network works, only need 1 printer, etc.


Gethsemane Church Project

Configuration determined with Mike
They are running cables between rooms
Filter settings (OpenDNS)
We have a few switches
Virus protection installed
Cables obtained
To Do
Select router/ switch
Measure/ Cut cables (Frederick wants to help)
Deliver network gear
Final setup, (6 Vistas, 9 XPs, 1 Linux Mint)
Hook up printer to network (we need help with this)

Peer Ambassadors Project

Discussion begun about lab configuration
Linux Mint installed on 3 machines
Teens got hands on experience with new OS

To Do
Finalize plan for lab
Secure machines and gather all parts
Deliver equipment
Setup lab
More hands on with teens

Cataloging Computer for Peer Ambassadors (Katie):

Cataloging computer IS finished
Need to deliver computer
PA needs training on Alexandria
May do training at PA or at detention center


1. Overview of Project
2. Priorities
3. Risks to accomplishing project
4. Goals for this week
5. Support needed

Teen Tech
Found 9 computers with Windows XP tags.
Nuked at least 10 computers using dBan to wipe any existing data on the hard drive.
Installed Windows XP on 9 computers. Installed while not on the network.
Installed Windows Upgrades on 9 computers.
Installed ClamWin and Adaware on 5 computers.
Created user accounts on 5 computers: gslisadmin; siteadmin; Teen Tech Limited

To Do:
Install Linux on 1 computer.
Install any antivirus software or updates on Linux computer.
Install ClamWin and Adaware on remaining Windows computers to bring to Teen Tech.
Set up user accounts on remaining Windows computers.

Peer Ambassadors
Identified network needs of location.
dBanned 7 computers.
Installed Linux on 7 computers.

To Do:
Install antivirus or updates on computers.
Confirm network setup.
Confirm purchase of router.
Create user accounts.


Teen Tech Hardware:
Computer Hard drive Processor Speed Memory
3 41.112Gb 1.8GHz 768MB
8 20.418Gb 1.5 GHz 1024 MB
9 20.418Gb 1.5 GHz 768 MB
7 20.021Gb 1.6 GHz 640 MB
2 20.0Gb 1.8 GHz 768 MB

Peer Ambassadors:

3 computers with Linux, etc. ready to go.
Need to find and prepare 3 more computers
To be delivered Next Tuesday


Teen Tech:

  • Installed Windows XP, service packs, anti-virus, ad-aware, firefox, openoffice on 9 computers.
  • Need to install Linux Mint on a 10th computer.
  • When we visited them, we booted Linux Mint from disk and let them explore it.
  • We handed out Linux Mint CDs to people who requested them, warning them not to install them on their computers unless they have gotten parental permission and backed up all their files.
  • We still need to install Open DNS filtering program and set up user accounts. We still need to talk to Mike about whether we need to limit privileges for the guest accounts, and we need to make sure that we know how to do this-we will do this on our next visit (8/1).

Peer Ambassadors

  • We de-banned6 computers for prep and then when they came to visit 7/21, we had them install Linux Mint on the computers. It didn’t work on one computer, so we need to fix it or prepare another computer with Linux Mint.
  • We let them play with Linux Mint and set up preferences for their lab.
  • We still need to install the Open DNS filtering system, and discuss user account privileges
  • Cataloging computer — set up software

In Class Progress Report July 14, 2009

July 14th, 2009 by Admin
  1. Overview of the Project
  2. Accomplishments To Date
  3. Risks To Accomplishing Project
  4. Goals For This Week
  5. Support Needed To Complete Project Over Rest Of Semester

Set up a lab for Peer Ambassadors and a cataloging system for the detention center.


  • We have started planning
  • We have cleaned a couple of the computers


  • Time
  • Arranging the computer
  • Deciding how to network the computer
  • Arranging time to meet


  • Wiping computers
  • Setting up the computer for cataloging
  • Create the lessons for next Tuesday


  • Adam and Martin
  • Help with networking
  • Help with choosing the appropriate cataloging software
  • Help with installing software

Karen Simm Communication

July 10th, 2009 by Admin

Thanks again for a great meeting. The young people working with me this summer are really excited about this opportunity.

It should be exciting.

Lyn Niemann is the tech person for CUPHD. I’ll contact him and let him know you’ll be in touch.

If you have suggestions about projects we can work on until our meeting on the 21st at 1:30 please let me know….

Karen Simms
The Peer Ambassadors Program


Thanks for your e-mail, we also enjoyed meeting your group. Here are some resources that you and your teens might want to start looking at before we meet next Tuesday.

(This Click and Learn site lets you click on the parts of a computer)
(This site has good examples and diagrams of the parts of a computer)
(An introduction to computer hardware)
(Introduction to operating systems)


Hope that some of these resources might be helpful!

  • Show quoted text –
    • From Lois Lowry’s Newberry Medal acceptance speech, 1994.

The man that I named the Giver passed along to the boy knowledge, history, memories, color, pain, laughter, love and truth. Every time you place a book in the hands of a child, you do the same thing.

It is very risky.

But each time a child opens a book, he pushes open the gate that separates him from Elsewhere. It gives him choices. It gives him freedom.
Those are magnificent, wonderfully unsafe things.

Peer Ambassador Meeting Notes

July 9th, 2009 by Admin

Date: Thursday 7/9/2009

Time: 2:00 – 3:30

Our group had its first meeting with Peer Ambassadors. We discuss their goals and priorities. We were given a tour at the end of the meeting.

All six members of our group were in attendance. Nine members of the peer ambassador attended the meeting in addition to the site coordinator. Professor Wolske also attended the meeting.

Site Coordinator: Karen Simms

CUPHD Tech Person: Lyn Niemann

9 Peer Ambassadors [Names redacted]

Meeting Outline
1. Background Information
2. Lab Set-up
3. Library cataloging
4. Priorities, Goals, and Suggestions


Peer Ambassadors is a grant funded youth program for African-American teens that was established in 2004. Group member ages range from 13 to 24. The program is a partner of the Champaign Public Health Department. Members are currently being paid with money obtained from the Workforce Investment Act. The group meets Monday to Thursday 1:30 – 5:30. Some of their programs include:

  • Peer-to-Peer mentoring
  • Town Hall Meetings – Last year’s town hall focused on improving youth/school relationships
  • Project Access – Local projects that attempt to build a network of services and access.
  • Tutoring
  • Advocacy

The group has a myspace page and is currently creating a website.
Myspace Page:

Computer Experience

  • All of the Peer Ambassadors have a computer.
  • Most of the Ambassadors have used computers since they were children, but they admit that their skills are limited.
  • Only two have seen the inside of a computer.
  • Computer usage usually focus on doing schoolwork and visiting websites.
  • They have some experience photo editing.
  • They have no experience editing music or videos.
  • Commonly visited sites include:
    Midstate Hoops
    Yahoo games
  • The students are currently taking a digital literacy course, which focuses on basic computer concepts. This program is geared towards Windows programs.

Microsoft Digital Literacy website:

Things The Students Want To Learn

  • How to make a wiki.
  • How to clean a computer.
  • The differences between operating systems.
  • How to forward emails.
  • How to set up a webcam


The Proposed Lab: The proposed lab will be restricted to youth services and will be used by the peer ambassadors, tutors and other teens. The room will be used for meetings, which will probably have 5-6 people involved. They don’t believe that all of the computers will be used at once. Some of the individuals in this room will be doing other projects. As the result, the room requires a workstation, office supplies and a white board. The group estimates that 20 – 30 people will be using the lab per week. They are planning to acquire their office supplies and furniture through fundraisers, free cycle, and donations.

  • The dimensions of the lab were estimated by counting ceiling tiles. Assuming that each tile is 12 inches, the lab is 9.5 by 12 feet.
  • Six computers will be added to room.
  • All of the furniture can be moved out for more space.
  • The room has two outlets.
  • The peer ambassador may decorate the room.
  • Peer ambassadors have meetings on Wednesday that are open to all teens.
  • They do not want wireless because of security reasons


The peer ambassadors have two offices, which have five donated computers. They are having problems upgrading their computers because they do not have their passwords. The site coordinator wants the computers cleaned. Currently, the computers are being used for basic word processing and the Internet. None of the offices were measured. The group wants a new router to help network the rooms.

First Office

The first office is divided in the two halves by a door with a window. The front half of the office contains the two of the donated computers. The Gateway computer has Window 98 and the Compaq has Windows 2000. The front portion of the office is about the same size as the proposed lab. The back portion of the office is larger. The peer ambassadors are unsure about how to use this room because they are worried that the traffic to that room will create too much noise in the front portion of this office. In addition, the room is located in the middle of the building.

Second Office

The second office is also about the same size as the proposed lab. This room has three donated computers. Two of the three computers are in use. The third computer has not been turned on and is missing a monitor, a keyboard and a mouse. The group is unsure whether this third computer works. The first computer in use is an E series running Windows XP and the second computer is a dell running Windows XP. The non-functioning computer is a Dell that has Window 2000. The room also has a HP laserjet printer, 1 router and 5 outlets.

A computer is needed to begin cataloging the library collection located at the juvenile detention center. A current partnership with Books for Prisoners is in place.

The Current CollectionThe current collection contains ~1,000 books and is organized into two sections; general and resource books. The collection contains magazines, newsletters, videos, and books. None of the books can be checked out.

_Computer Requirements:_1. No Internet access.
2. Software for cataloging. (Suggestions include Alexandria or Excel.)


They want some of the books in the facility to mirror the books at peer ambassadors so that there is some continuity in available reading materials. They is possibility that they will start a book club. They want to make list of recommended books.

They need the computers by the week of July 13


  1. Set up computer lab
  2. Create a lesson plan
  3. Identify the operating system and software that is the most appropriate for the cataloging project.


  • Introducing the students to Seamonkey web design program to help them with their website.
  • Bringing in a computer with two different operating systems so that the students can see the difference. Or,  the students can do this when they come to campus on Tuesday (I am not sure if it is this upcoming Tuesday)
  • Create a handout
  • Set up a computer lesson similar to a LIS 451 class lesson for the Peer Ambassadors.
  • Prof. Wolske suggested visiting the YCI website