Rising Above Setbacks, Sasha Finds A Way To The Tech Career She’s Always Wanted: Monthly Impact Report – Apr. 2017

Sasha grew up in the Bronx and witnessed a lot of the changes reflected in her community. She received a degree in Network Administration and Security at Laguardia Community College and began working as a sales representative at Micro Center, a computer electronics store with the intention of working her way into the role of a technician. For a year and a half Sasha worked for the company’s sales force thinking that she could transfer the skills she had developed in school and move into help desk services. However, Sasha remarks, “what I learned in college did not translate into the skills I needed for this type of job. I had a lot of skills missing and did not have the hands on experience to make the switch.”

When Sasha heard about Per Scholas she eagerly applied for the program excited to jumpstart her career. Unfortunately, she was in a serious car accident a few weeks after being accepted and was unable to begin the training course. Not only was she unable to begin the training, but she was released from her sales position at Micro Center because she was unable to return to work four months later.

After intensive knee surgery Sasha decided to recommit herself to the goal of receiving an A+ certification and completing the training offered by Per Scholas. She reapplied in December and was immediately admitted to Per Scholas’ TechBridge pilot program. TechBridge, in partnership with The Door is designed to strengthen the skills of young adults between 18 and 25 for their ultimate success when beginning Per Scholas’ IT Support Class. “I like to say that because I was part of Tech Bridge before going into the program, I had a jump start and preparation. I knew what to expect and how to succeed” Sasha completed the TechBridge training in January and started her IT Support Class in February, 2016.

Sasha’s perseverance paid off. Upon her May graduation she immediately received an internship with Manhattan Technical Support, offering IT services to companies in the NYC metro area. Sasha says that the hands on experience was invaluable. “Being able to shadow and work with technicians taught me more than any college class I had taken before.”

Sasha currently works for Goddard Riverside Community Center as an IT analyst. She remarks that it is a small department with just one other manager so she enjoys a lot of responsibility and learning experience. “I always want to help someone in some way. If I can fix someone’s computer that is going to make their day and their job better.”   

Now a confidant IT professional, Sasha thanks the opportunity and guidance from Per Scholas and other partners for offering her an alternative. “It has been a major improvement in my life. It was an amazing opportunity that stood out and I did my best to grab it and I am happy I did. It has made me become a stronger independent woman. I have more confidence now, I like to break stereotypes, I like to be the one that says ‘there can be a woman in IT’. I started from the bottom and I am making my best strides to be an IT manager or a network engineer.”

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