If someone had told me that this was where I would be now, I would never have believed them. I have a completely different outlook on life. My future is something that I never thought it could be.
Lead Security Assessor
Greater Cincinnati, Ohio
- Network Support
Monique grew up in a low-income family in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. She found joy in learning and in high school took passionately to her computer programming class where she learned to write her first video game. Outside of school, Monique didn’t have many opportunities to learn about technology and had to wait until college to learn more. She was a double major in Spanish and Computer Science and was looking forward to a career as a video game programmer.
Sadly, during her junior year, both of her parents passed away within seven months apart from one another. She tried to focus on school work to cope with her loss, but the demand to keep up with both majors took a toll on her. She decided to drop her Computer Science major and completed her bachelor’s degree in Spanish. After graduating, Monique struggled to find a job to jumpstart her career. For 20 years, Monique worked a series of customer service jobs that offered minimal benefits or very little pay to support her and her son. Eventually, Monique found herself extremely unhappy and uncertain about her future.
Return to Technology
At some point during her life, Monique hoped that she’d be able to return to technology. While many reskilling and technology bootcamp programs had emerged in Cincinnati, unfortunately, she could not enroll because she had either aged out of their program requirements or the training tuition costs were too much for her to afford. This only frustrated and saddened Monique even more. During this time, she was seeing a therapist who mentioned that her nephew recently enrolled in free tech training at Per Scholas Cincinnati. She encouraged Monique to look into it. “Nobody gets anything for free,” Monique challenged. Later that evening, Monique visited the Per Scholas website and saw a former college friend of hers profiled on the Ambassador’s page. She immediately looked up his contact information to learn more about his experience and with his encouragement, she enrolled in the IT Support training course.
By enrolling in Per Scholas, Monique was given a second chance to pursue the tech career she’s always wanted almost two decades later! She currently works as a full-time Lead Security Assessor and has doubled her salary prior to Per Scholas. Monique hopes to pursue additional certification in cybersecurity and continuing to be a role model for her son. As an alum, Monique is actively involved with Per Scholas Greater Cincinnati activities and helps to promote our training to the broader community.
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Within a few months, I changed from a person with the least-desired skills to one of the most sought-after employees. I have become someone my kids can look up to.
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