Before Year Up, I was refurbishing computers while studying for IT certifications. However, because I have a past, I was rejected for entry-level jobs not requiring any type of technical skills. I was feeling hopeless, unproductive, and unmotivated. I wanted to start fresh, but looking for a full-time job at a tech company was extremely difficult and disappointing. I was turned down even when I was qualified.

I found Year Up on Craigslist and applied, hoping I would get an opportunity with a tech company. The most important thing I learned in the program was how to communicate efficiently in the corporate world. Before Year Up, I was not a good communicator, nor very professional, but I have since developed the ability to present my thoughts clearly – even in front of a room full of people. The hardest part was dressing in business attire every day, but after wearing it for a few months I realized this is what I should have been wearing a long time ago.

I interned at California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Sutter Health as a Desktop Technician, working on inventory and asset management. I thought it would be easy work, but I was challenged to build a new set of skills to utilize in the workplace. I learned how to adapt to the hospital environment and found it to be very rewarding. I was intimidated being the youngest IT employee at CPMC, but my manager and my intern supervisor were both very supportive. They accepted me for the person I am and not for the mistakes I made in my past. They have provided me with the opportunity and guidance to succeed in the future.

Today, I am optimistic, determined, and professional. I earned a full-time job at CPMC and now work as a Desktop Technician. I like that my job allows me to continue to learn from other technicians while improving our inventory and asset management. I plan to continue with my education and hopefully get more IT certifications. My goal is to become a Network Administrator for a big tech company like Google or Facebook.

Graduating from Year Up opened the doors to many different opportunities. I was able to strengthen my resume with what I’ve learned and the experience I’ve gained. I hope my story shows others that everyone makes mistakes, but with some guidance and the right opportunity you can turn your life around.