It’s easy to destroy something—the real challenge is in putting it back together. When something doesn’t work out, I accept my part in the challenge and do everything I can to fix what’s broken. I feel accountable, but I wasn’t always that way.

At Year Up, I received training in everything from computer programming to business fundamentals, but most importantly, I learned to take responsibility for my actions and myself. Growing up, I’d start something and then quickly move on to something else. I started a degree, which I never finished, and hopped from job to job. When I heard about Year Up, I saw that the program would support me in making a productive change in my life. I knew IT was an industry with continuous labor demands and was excited to find a real career path.

Before starting my internship at Kaiser Permanente, I thought I would mainly be answering phones. Instead, my manager believed I could do more and exposed me to other aspects of the service desk team. I learned how to migrate manual processes electronically and how to train people on our company’s procedures—I even helped create training handbooks that the department still implements. I know that I would not have had these growth opportunities without demonstrating that I held myself accountable for delivering quality work.

My role at Kaiser Permanente trained me not only to be accountable to myself, but also to others. As the Helpdesk Liaison to all regions, I have connected with people from all over the world. The relationships I developed with a diverse range of individuals taught me to be more conscious and inclusive of different backgrounds and perspectives. Learning the etiquette of being at a diverse company has been a life lesson in its own.

My new accountability extended beyond Year Up. One challenge arose during program when I was evicted out of a space I shared with five other people. I had been paying rent to my aunt, but that money never made it to the landlord. Despite the unfairness, I took responsibility for my situation and succeeded at moving into my own apartment. I’m happy to say I have been maintaining my finances ever since.

After graduation, I continued working at Kaiser as a Service Request Administrator while also becoming a Helpdesk Associate. Before Year Up, I worked for money and nothing else. Now, I’m committed to a versatile and exciting career and, because of my experiences at Year Up and Kaiser Permanente, I’m now considering going back to school. Being at Kaiser has taught me that companies are always shifting to new gears, and I’m excited to continue building my knowledge in the tech field so that I can be an asset to my team and company well into the future.