Pathfinder IT Career Training School

About Us

Pathfinder IT Career Training School is owned and operated by Britepaths, Inc., and is administered through the Financial Empowerment Center at South County, a program of Britepaths made possible by a grant from the United Way of the National Capitol Area and Fairfax County. Britepaths, is a Fairfax County nonprofit that provides short-term safety-net services to our neighbors in need while empowering them to work toward long-term self-sufficiency. Our mission is to help unemployed and underemployed individuals who might not otherwise have access to technical education develop the skills they need to pursue entry-level IT roles. Britepaths helps students gain job-specific skills, connect with employers, and embark on their IT careers.

Pathfinder IT Career Training School has applied for certification to operate in Virginia by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia or SCHEV for our AWS re/Start Cloud Practitioner certification program only. Our instructor is an AWS Academy Accredited Educator. Our AWS Cloud Practitioner program is also pending approval as a training provider through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) for Workforce Area #11, Virginia Career Works – Northern Region. More information regarding approved programs may be found here: or

We offer supplemental certification trainings in Network+, Security+, Linux+, and Data+ on a rotating basis to graduates of our IT training programs. We are a CompTIA Authorized Partner.

Launch a Career with Pathfinder IT 

Pathfinder IT Career Training School's AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification Program with IT fundamentals training is a free, full-time, skills development programs to help unemployed and underemployed individuals who might not otherwise have access to technical education develop the skills they need to pursue entry-level cloud or IT roles. We help Northern Virginia residents who might otherwise not have the opportunity to gain job-specific skills, connect with employers, and embark on their cloud careers.

Visit our AWS Cloud page for more information

Pathfinder IT Career Training School offers our Google IT & CompTIA A+ training course for free to help unemployed and underemployed Norther Virginia residents who might not otherwise have access to technical education to develop the skills they need to pursue entry-level IT roles. 

Enroll in our Google IT Professional Certification program and earn both the Google IT Professional Certification and CompTIA A+. Self-paced, with daily instructor check-in at 5p.

Visit Our Google IT page for more information 

  • Authorization to work in USA
  • Minimum of 18 years old
  • Minimum of high school diploma or GED; No Master's
  • Resident of Northern Virginia including Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties, Cities of Alexandria and Fairfax, and Towns of Clifton, Herndon, and Vienna
  • Are you unemployed or under-employed, or can you demonstrate financial need?
  • Access to a computer and the internet (Britepaths has limited laptops available to borrow)
  • Responsible in attending class
  • Committed to learning new skills and finding employment

Interested? Take these steps to begin your journey:

  • Complete Interest Survey
  • Attend an Information Session
  • Take Assessment
  • Conduct Individual Interview with instructor and school administrator
  • Class begins!
  • Practice and polish employment skills (resume, interview, networking)
  • Graduate
  • Advance your career!

Pathfinder IT Training School is administered by
the Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) at South County
8350 Richmond Hwy, Ste 125, Alexandria, VA 22309
703.704.6101 [Need to create this address]

Britepaths is the lead nonprofit partner operating the FEC at South County
in partnership with the United Way of the National Capital Area and Fairfax County.

School Leadership

Lisa Whetzel, Executive Director: Lisa has been with Britepaths since 2005, and in the role of Executive Director since 2007. She has more than a decade of nonprofit leadership and management experience. She has a proven record of success in business management, including financial management, constituent relationship management, business development, fundraising, marketing, public speaking, and technology and branding project management. Under her leadership, Britepaths has created impactful programs which stabilize families in financial crisis and move them toward long term self-sufficiency with measurable success. Lisa was awarded Finalist for the Center for Nonprofit Advancement’s 2021 Excellence in Chief Executive Leadership (EXCEL) Award. Britepaths was awarded Nonprofit of the Year 2019 by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Greater Washington Good Business Awards. From 2019-2021, she was the Chair of the board of Fairfax County Alliance for Human Services and on the advisory board for Virginia Nonprofit Leadership Council. She sits on the board of Volunteer Career Works, as well as on the Fairfax City Commission on Women. She is a graduate of the 2010 Leadership Fairfax Institute. After graduating from James Madison University, she spent a year as a Jesuit Volunteer Corps Group Home Counselor in Alaska. She and her husband reside in Fairfax City, Virginia, where they raised their three grown children.

Initially hired as Holiday Program Assistant in 2013, Sally soon segued to meeting with Britepaths’ clients and supporting them in moving forward in their jobs and careers. This experience led her to the development and leadership of the organization’s workforce efforts. As Workforce Development Director and a Certified Career Services Provider, she has grown the program to include many different offerings to meet the needs of our diverse client population. A strong believer in collaborating, she seeks out partnerships with individuals and organizations in our community to enhance these programs. Sally’s previous job experience was in in exhibitions and developed educational programs for museums. Prior to joining the team, she was a stay-at-home mom to two girls. She lives in Fairfax with her husband.

Glenn has been with Britepaths since 2021 and is a business and information technology professional with more than 40 years of experience in training, consulting and entrepreneurship. He has served as technical program manager and trainer for complex programs at Sun Microsystems, AT&T and Statistical International. After retiring from his program management career, Glenn moved to the classroom at George Mason University, teaching Professional Development courses. He has been teaching professionals for the last 15 years, and continues to develop students in innovative technologies. Combining Glenn’s extensive experience in corporate IT training and IT working knowledge, he prepares students to successfully navigate the challenges of today’s IT environment. He carries Instructor Certifications from Amazon and CompTIA.

Pathfinder IT