Per Scholas is actually preparing people for what they are going to do in the job field right now. They are really giving you all the resources, all the professional development, all of the training hands-on to be able to jump right into the workforce and actually be a member of your team that can contribute…Honestly, there is nothing like Per Scholas.
Digital Measures Programmer
Earlier this year Jasmin Smith was a struggling artist trying to figure out the next step in her career. She had a Bachelor’s degree in art and loved the creative process, but was having difficulty finding meaningful and stable work for her skills. She had worked a variety of jobs, including as an artist and a substitute teacher, and had done some tech-adjacent work in customer service for companies like Apple.
Jasmin enjoyed the tech customer service, but she did not feel that it was challenging her enough. She wanted to get more involved in tech – a lifelong interest of hers – but wasn’t sure how to make the leap to a new field, or if it was the right move for her. Around that time, Jasmin made friends with some software engineers who showed her how the software they created really changed and improved people’s lives. Talking to her new friends showed Jasmin that the tech field was actually accessible, and something she wanted to pursue.
Jasmin found out about Per Scholas through friends who had successfully attended the program. Hearing other people’s success stories inspired Jasmin to apply. “I wasn’t happy with where I was at in my life,” Jasmin recalled. “This opportunity presented itself, and I knew this was the moment to change [my life].”
Jasmin was accepted into Per Scholas Dallas’ Software Engineering course. She found the course to be incredibly challenging, and incredibly rewarding. “It was probably one of the most mentally challenging things I have ever done,” Jasmin reflected. “But I had so much support. My classmates and teachers were there for me, and we had office hours and could message anyone with questions whenever we wanted. There was always someone there with an answer to any question we had and so many resources to help us move along in the process. Using all the resources that are given was the most important part, to me, of being successful in this program.”
Jasmin’s hard work and perseverance paid off, and she graduated in March as the valedictorian of her cohort! The same day of her graduation, Jasmin received a job offer, which she happily accepted. She now works as a Digital Measures Programmer at NCQA, and loves her work because it challenges her every day, while also allowing her to be creative. Jasmin also feels that her work is really making a positive difference in people’s lives, which is the most important part for her.
A month after starting her new job, Jasmin was able to move into her own place, and she feels that her entire life has changed for the better. She plans to continue in her current role, and hopes to someday start an organization that teaches children how to code, helping them get a foot in the door in tech through a mixture of graphic design, art, and coding.
“The biggest thing about Per Scholas is they are actually preparing people for what they are going to do in the job field right now,” Jasmin said. “They are really giving you all the resources, all the professional development, all of the training hands-on to be able to jump right into the workforce and actually be a member of your team that can contribute…
“I want to thank Per Scholas and everyone at Per Scholas for all their hard work and dedication and allowing us this opportunity. There’s all different kinds of programs out there that can cost you varying amounts of money, but there is nothing that I have found that is giving people that really need it this kind of opportunity. Honestly, there is nothing like Per Scholas.”
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What I think makes up a well-rounded employee is both soft skills and technical skills, and I think Per Scholas has really developed a great way to round those out.