Student Spotlight: Per Scholas Dallas Alum Kevin McCoy

“I was doing manual labor where people who had been there for decades were waiting for the same promotion I was. I didn’t want to spend 10+ years doing manual labor to HOPEFULLY get a promotion.”

Forney, Texas native Kevin McCoy knew that manual labor wouldn’t give him the career he desired. Conditions were awful and the physical toll on his body was detrimental. Stuck in a place where progression was based on who you knew rather than your skills and performance, he decided to look for work in a field he was always interested in; IT. While searching for various IT positions, Kevin realized there was always one common requirement: certifications. Kevin began self learning IT to hopefully earn his A+ certification and start a new career.

Leaving his job to pursue studying further, Kevin found that while he could read the material, he lacked the structure and tools to truly understand what it meant to be an IT professional. He came across an ad for Per Scholas and couldn’t believe his eyes. “I was skeptical. I looked all over the page for the fine print, but there was none!” He heard about former graduates and it was in that moment he knew that this was the place for him.

After applying for and beginning training, Kevin was apprehensive. Four years of manual labor had left him unsure of his abilities and he felt he wouldn’t cut it in IT. He chalks up his ability to complete the training to the instructors and staff who were both helpful and supportive, especially his career coach, Dr. Jessica White. “I struggled with career development, the nuances of resume and interviewing was foreign to me. She was always there to answer my questions, willing to help me with everything that I needed.” Kevin took to the training well and settled in. The best part of his experience, outside of becoming great friends with his classmates, was the confidence he gained. “I proved to myself I could do this and gained the confidence needed to get a career that I can grow in.” he says.

When asked about what he would say to his younger self, he replied “Just go for it. Don’t try to talk yourself out of it or feel that you can’t do it. You can do it. You’ll come out better than when you came in.”

Kevin has recently completed a large project for Dallas County where he assisted with setting up all the equipment and troubleshooting hardware and network connectivity issues. Kevin’s IT career is only beginning and he plans on pursuing a career in Cybersecurity.

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