Per Scholas is helping people from underserved neighborhoods and giving us this training for free! They never asked for anything back - only asked for us to put in the work.
Simon was always interested in IT and cybersecurity. He had looked into taking some online courses, but ultimately decided that he would prefer a classroom environment in which he could be inspired by his teachers and fellow students. Many of the cybersecurity courses that Simon found were also prohibitively expensive. When Simon came across Per Scholas during an online search, he knew that he had found exactly what he was looking for and that he needed to apply right away. “After I got the news that I was going to be part of the team that would take the course, I started dancing,” Simon reflected on his admission to Per Scholas. “My wife and I were jubilated and just so excited about the opportunity that Per Scholas was giving us.”
The course was extremely rigorous, but Simon worked incredibly hard, even forming a study group of students that met outside of class to help one another with homework. This summer, he graduated as the valedictorian of Per Scholas Dallas’s Cybersecurity course.
“When we were about to start the class, an expectation was set that this was not going to be an easy 15 weeks,” Simon recalled. “If it was easy, everyone would do it…but by the time we get out of this class, we are going to be professionals! I used to be afraid when people asked me technical questions, but now I don’t think I am afraid anymore. I am able to defend myself and talk about things with confidence.”
Simon is originally from Ghana and grew up in extreme poverty. Even back then, he says, he always knew that the sky was his limit and he could achieve great things. Thanks to all of his dedication and hard work at Per Scholas, Simon will soon be launching a career as a deployment engineer at CISA – a lifelong dream come true. “Coming from a third world country, having seen real suffering and times when there was no hope…thank you for giving me and everyone in my cohort the platform to be able to have hope. You are giving hope that was being snatched away from people because of the situations that they found themselves in…and that hope is priceless. Thank you, Per Scholas, for what you are doing. You are actually changing lives.”
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During my training at Per Scholas there was a ton of support, especially from the other women and other non-traditional learners that also had the same thoughts I had. They told me it’s not too late to go into doing what you really want to do.