Ricardo Renteria

Ricardo Renteria - GT

Technical Support Representative at Asurion

Year Up Arizona

Class of January 2017

My mother brought me to the United States as an infant, to escape violence in Acapulco, Mexico and to have an opportunity for a better life. Growing up, I saw my mother work in the fields, and eventually, I did the same, working every day from sunrise to sunset for $8.00 an hour. Though it denied me a normal teenage experience of hanging out with friends or being able to buy that new pair of shoes, I had to work. Every dollar mattered, going toward rent, bills, groceries, and school supplies for my younger brothers, and often we couldn’t even cover all our bills. Though I didn’t have what I wanted, I’m grateful for the work ethic that was instilled in me. If I hadn’t been through such challenges, I don’t think I would have been ready to take advantage of the great opportunities that came after.

Year Up was one of those opportunities and it was the first time I saw myself out of the fields and in an actual office. I promptly enrolled in the Java Programming track, and during the training phase, I took college classes I’d always dreamed about. I also learned how to build a professional brand and network, which helped me feel confident in who I am and what I have to offer. It made me realize how much I wanted to be a participating member of the business world.

My internship confirmed that I was on the right path toward achieving the future I desired. Reflecting on everything I’d been through—coming to the U.S. and struggling for every dollar—I resolved to continue on the path to success and to never let anyone down, especially my mother. Following my internship, I joined Asurion. Asurion provided a learning platform that enabled me to improve my technology skills and become disciplined in meeting metrics. Thanks to my strong work ethic and desire to improve, I was ranked #1, nationally, out of 2,400 technicians for three days in a row. Asurion has also given me the resources to provide for myself and my family in a way that wasn’t possible before. Now, I’m enrolled in college and working toward my goal of becoming a software engineer.

I am a go-getter who came to the U.S. to take charge of my life. I’m proud of young adults who, despite limited resources, are giving their best to this great country. Mostly, I am thankful for all Year Up has done for me. I will never have enough words to express my gratitude.