Stephen Ragan Joins NPower as Chief External Relations Officer

NEW YORK, NY, USA, December 4, 2023 / — The national tech training nonprofit, NPower, has announced that Stephen C. Ragan is joining the nonprofit organization as Chief External Relations Officer.

As CERO, Ragan will lead the organization’s fundraising and donor engagement, as well as NPower’s growing partnerships with various local, state, and federal government agencies. He will report to the Chief Executive Officer and work closely with the organization’s leadership team, and the Board of Directors.

Ragan was previously Senior Vice President for External Relations at College Possible – one of the nation’s largest nonprofits dedicated to improving college access for underrepresented, first-generation and low-income students. He led fundraising, marketing/communications and their advocacy programs while there. 

Before that, he was Senior Vice President with Lawrence Technological University where he launched their first comprehensive capital fundraising campaign that raised $100 Million. He’s also led fundraising campaigns for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Make It Right Foundation where he helped raise more than $100 Million following Hurricane Katrina.

NPower has a proven and award-winning training model bridging the tech industry’s national talent gap. It provides employers with diverse talent equipped with the competencies of an information technology (IT) professional with one to two years of experience. Their free flagship program, NPower Tech Fundamentals, teaches students the basics of IT, assists with job placements and offers opportunities to earn industry-recognized certifications. The free training program addresses barriers that exist among young adults, military-connected individuals, and women of color eager to enter the field of technology.

“I’m thrilled to be joining an incredibly talented team that is focused on creating career opportunities for young adults and military-connected individuals while addressing critical skill needs of industry,” said Ragan. “NPower has an impressive network of funders and employers that have helped it become the leader in rapid education and training for high-demand technology careers. As a Detroiter, I’m especially excited about NPower’s substantial commitment to Michigan.”

Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO of NPower, said her organization wanted an experienced, mission-driven strategic leader with a deep commitment to advancing equity in the tech industry.

“Stephen Ragan is committed to our core values and our mission to upend generational poverty,” said Ceccarelli. “He brings proven leadership and a track record of developing exceptional funding partnerships required to scale.  He is also dedicated to building strong teams with a focus on cultivating great talent and fostering collaboration.  Steve is just the nonprofit leader NPower needs now to realize our growth aspirations for 2030.” 

Ragan continues to serve and lead several boards, including Advantage Health (Vice Chairperson), All Saints Literacy Center (Chairperson), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Past President). He was the recipient of the John S. Lore Award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional in 2021.  Crain’s Detroit Business named him a “Notable Leader in Philanthropy.”

NPower Missouri to Launch Community Helpdesk for Residents Across St. Louis

As part of its commitment to help bridge the digital divide, AT&T is contributing $1.6 million to NPower to create and manage a tech community “helpdesk” for the St. Louis area. NPower, the leading free tech training nonprofit, will provide call center support for local residents challenged with technology or connectivity issues at home. The goal is to help people who don’t have the tools they need to make the most of the internet. This gift also includes an initiative in Dallas, Texas.

Set to launch in July 2023, the “helpdesk” will teach residents how to sign up for internet service, use computers, improve digital skills, and connect to valuable resources and services.

Ben Kesler, executive director for NPower Missouri, says the program will help families facing everyday connectivity issues, while also training and employing young adults with the tech skills needed to launch lucrative careers in technology.

“The time for the Community Helpdesk is now. The pandemic has expanded the digital divide. This initiative will not only provide valuable on-the-job training for emerging tech talent, but also it will serve as a much needed community resource for some of our most vulnerable populations,” said Kesler. “We’d like to thank AT&T for their support in funding this initiative as we further serve the St. Louis community.”

AT&T Contribution for Community Helpdesk

This initiative is part of AT&T’s 3-year, $2 billion commitment made in 2021 to help close the digital divide and its goal to launch digital navigator programs nationwide, bringing digital training and tools to neighborhoods in need.

The call center will help people become a part of and engage in our digital world and will also empower young adults from the St. Louis area by putting them on the other side of the phone.

“Everyone deserves internet access – it’s on us to help make that a reality. But we can’t do it alone,” said Mylayna Albright, assistant vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility, AT&T. “That’s why we’re thrilled to be working with NPower, a leader in training tech talent from diverse communities, to launch the helpdesk and bring us one step closer to helping bridge the digital divide.”

Under the grant, NPower Missouri will hire 10 apprentices from their tuition-free Tech Fundamentals program to staff the helpdesk and will rotate them on monthly assignments. Kesler said this ensures that NPower graduates are continually learning and solving real-time tech problems.

The Community Helpdesk is designed to support the many residents who struggle to connect vital communication devices to broadband internet or Wi-Fi. And this “disconnect” is especially prevalent in underserved communities that systemically lack access to quality connectivity. This initiative will provide equitable tech services across all communities.

NPower, who previously launched a helpdesk in Baltimore, says the communities expected to benefit most from the helpdesk include: 

  • Low-Income Adults and Youth 
  • Community College Students 
  • Non-Profit Employees 
  • Job Seekers 
  • Small Businesses 
  • Adult Learners  
  • Senior Citizens

NPower anticipates the helpdesk will field an average of 140 phone calls per day, serving 3,400 people per month. 

About NPower Inc.

NPower is a national nonprofit, rooted in the community, that is committed to advancing race and gender equity in the tech industry through skills training, real-world experience, support, and mentorships. The organization has helped young adults from underserved communities and veterans move from poverty to the middle class by training them with a range of tech skills and placing them in quality jobs. Students who enter the free 20-week training program earn industry-recognized certifications and graduate with the competencies of an IT professional with one to two years of experience. NPower also places students in paid internships and apprenticeships with corporate and nonprofit organizations. Eighty percent of NPower graduates get a full-time job or continue their education. NPower is a vital solution towards bridging the national talent gap that exists in the high-growth technology industry. Over the past decade, NPower has expanded its program reach and developed a robust network of Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized enterprises, government agencies, staffing firms, and a network of nonprofit partners that host its interns and hire its graduates full-time.  To learn more about NPower, visit

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

We’re committed to advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives. As part of our company-wide $2 billion commitment from 2021 to 2023 to address the digital divide, we launched AT&T Connected Learning to invest in connectivity and technology, digital literacy and education solutions to help today’s learners succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Since 2008, we’ve committed to programs that help millions of students across all 50 states and around the world, particularly those in underserved communities.

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