Alex shares what training at Per Scholas meant to him, and what a job, and ultimately a career, has allowed him to accomplish.
Per Scholas Ambassador Blogs: Alex Hernandez
Per Scholas ambassadors exemplify what it means to be a Per Scholas alumni. These blogs are a way for the ambassadors to share their story in their own words.
My name is Alex Hernandez and I attended the first class held at Per Scholas’ Dallas campus that started back in March of 2015. I have lived in Dallas Texas my whole life and knew the struggles of finding decent employment in a competitive market all too well. I truly believe that if I did not attend Per Scholas, I would still be working labor intensive jobs earning less than half of what I make today. Instead, I’m now employed by one of Glassdoor’s fifty “Best Places to Work 2016” and can now afford to live life without worrying about how I’m going to make it to the next paycheck.
I obtained my first IT job while I was still attending Per Scholas. Max, our Business Solutions Director, had us interview with an employer that was seeking individuals to work on a data migration project for a big real estate company. I got the job! While I was there I was able to travel to new cities, flew for the first time ever, and was thrilled to finally be paid to do something I love.
Getting this new job did not come without it’s challenges. If it had not been for the training and preparation I received, this opportunity would never had been possible. The technological training and soft skills I learned proved to be of great benefit. I didn’t realize how inexperienced I was at communicating with individuals in a professional setting.
I can still recollect sitting in the classroom preparing my sixty second pitch. And did it ever come in handy! Being new to the field, and on a temporary assignment, my colleagues were curious to know about my background and what I intended to do once the project had been completed. Thanks to my pitch and my new networking skills, I was able to get my point across smoothly and efficiently and was soon offered new employment opportunities.
After turning down a few opportunities in search of something that would be both long term and included health benefits, Max soon reached out to me about another potential lead. I always appreciated the family atmosphere and especially the fact that Per Scholas was more than willing to assist me and my classmates with our future endeavors after we graduated the program. This sense of family continues to this day. I still communicate with some of my classmates and have built a strong relationship with one of my newest co-workers, Jean Moreno, another Per Scholas alumnus. Don’t get me wrong, I get along with all my co-workers but Jean and I come from similar backgrounds and knew the hard work it took to get us where we are today. This bond will only strengthen as we continue to help each other out with obstacles we face at work and in our everyday lives.
So much has changed since I graduated from Per Scholas but what’s most important to me is that I now have a career and not another dead end job. I now have my own reliable transportation and not just a ride to work. I now have great health coverage as opposed to compiling medical bills. I now have accomplishments instead of improbable goals. Having this career and all it encompasses has given me a new outlook on life. I’m now optimistic for a bright and promising retirement but I will never forget how it all began. – A job changes everything
To help support 1,000 new students like Alex in 2017, consider checking out the #Ajobchangeseverything page to see how you can make an impact.
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