"On the new stuff we would always sit together, so he would watch me and I would show him how to do it," Bryant says. "The first DVD drive that came in, I actually walked him through the steps and showed him how everything plugged in, and then the second one that came in he pretty much did it on his own."
Clinton also helped Bryant create the database CommTech uses to track customer tickets, manage purchases and receipts, and bill customers.
"He's just phenomenally gifted with this sort of stuff," Bryant says of his apprentice.
While Clinton and Bryant fix the computers in the community, the school is working to upgrade its own technology infrastructure—from servers and wireless networks to equipment—but it is an expensive undertaking. CommTech will contribute to that effort as well, Bryant says.
[Read how public and private sectors are pushing education technology.]
"The profits we make we'll pour into the school," he says, adding that CommTech billed out $345 in repairs this semester.
That's a figure he hopes will improve when they reopen for business in the fall. Increasing their marketing efforts and bringing on more student technicians should increase their profit margin, Bryant says.
While Clinton, CommTech's first hire, won't be around to train the next crop of technicians—his family is moving this summer—he's hoping his new school will have a computer program.
Even if it doesn't, working as a technician has done more than simply teach him how to install an operating system; it's given him a career path, says the soon-to-be high schooler.
"It shows that I have potential in computer programming and the assembly of computers," Clinton says. "Now I have a dream of what I want to do. I want to go get into a good college up in the St. Louis area, and then I want to go on and pursue a career in computer technology."
See U.S. News's coverage of Technology in the Classroom.