IT Support Engineer
- Network Support
New Tech Career Passions
Tammy didn’t grow up with a family support network made up of a mother, a father, or close relatives. Her support system looked more like a network of social workers, psychologists, and case managers. “They were good, nurturing people,” Tammy acknowledges, grateful for their support. But when she turned 21, the responsibility of independence was a real-world experience for which Tammy wasn’t properly prepared.
“The system that I lived in showed me how to live in poverty. It was a path of surviving.” As a single mother, Tammy believed in providing the best for her family, so that they would not have to endure as she did. She worked multiple jobs, enabling her children to attend the area’s best schools, even though she struggled to afford basic living expenses. She was piloting her life and her family without a real blueprint.
Without a college degree, each job seemed to reflect her limitations. Through her various roles (from flight attendant to a talk show host, and one point owning her own side business), Tammy acquired a wealth of technical and business skills. “I had experience with the ‘old tech’ like IBM and the first generation of what is now the new tech of smartphones. “My interest in tech was profound, yet overlooked.”
A Tech Focused Life
One day, while out grocery shopping, Tammy met an employee from Per Scholas Columbus. She expressed her frustration with previous professional development programs that failed to provide any real return on investment for her career. Ultimately, she labeled them all as “fraudulent”. The employee guaranteed Tammy that Per Scholas wasn’t like the others, and encouraged Tammy to come in for an interview. After her interview, Tammy was thoroughly impressed and decided to apply for the IT Support course.
Tammy had to make several sacrifices during this time to ensure the security of her family while she was doing her coursework. She moved her family in with a close friend who proudly supported her determination to her tech training. She credits her faith as instrumental in keeping her focus, along with limiting her distractions to just her tech textbook, tech-related articles, along with some supplemental and motivational reading.
When Tammy graduated, she entered back into the workforce with more confidence. She was able to successfully communicate all of her previous work experiences as relevant tech and professional development roles. Since graduating, Tammy has worked at two of the world’s leading tech companies, Amazon and Google, the latter where she currently works as a Technical Support Engineer II in the Corporate Engineering sector. Tammy hopes to eventually work for Google’s Technical Recruiting team. “I look forward to inviting others into this space, navigating the Google culture, and watching them grow within the company.”
Tammy is living and leading a “Tech Focused” life beyond what she could have imagined for herself. She hopes to inspire the next generation of tech, starting with her family, where her sons have already expressed their interest in developing tech careers and one day working at Google.
Read the next graduate story
It feels like I have a purpose. I have grown and changed so much. I tell people what I do, and they can’t believe me! They’re so impressed! I am proud to be one of the many individuals who are changing the face of tech.