Desmond has been interested in technology and computers since he was 16 years old. “I told my parents I wanted to build a computer,” he says, now 20 years old.
“They looked at me like I was crazy, but somehow they trusted me, and I built a functioning, working computer.” It was from that point forward that Desmond knew he wanted to pursue a career in IT – he just had to figure out how to get started.
At 17, Desmond got his first job at Longhorn Steakhouse as a host. When his coworkers asked him what kind of work he wanted to do in the future, he talked about IT. He found support from his colleagues as they encouraged him to pursue his interests: “That’s kind of what helped push me into IT,” he said.
Desmond did an internship at Amazon, where he gained practical experience working in tech. After these experiences and participating in a career development program, he knew the next step in advancing his career further would be to get certified. Through the career development program, he was introduced to Byte Back.
“They really recommended that I go to Byte Back. They said, ‘We think Byte Back is a really good organization; they can help you grow and develop.’”
Desmond took this advice and enrolled in the IT Professional Track to earn his CompTIA A+ certification. When he started the course, he found that his experience at Amazon provided him with a great foundation of hands-on knowledge, and Byte Back would provide him with opportunities to develop his skills further and formalize his training.
Desmond found his desire to continue learning kept him motivated as he worked through the course. “Byte Back put me in this environment where I learned so many different things.”
When asked what advice he would give to others interested in Byte Back’s programming, specifically the IT Professional Track, Desmond says, “You have to be dedicated…you have to have grit and determination.”
Desmond has been studying and working hard to earn his certification, with his family close behind, cheering him on.
“I’m usually the example for the family – for the younger kids, they’ll say, ‘Look at Desmond, he’s going to school, he’s getting a job.’” Desmond takes this role as an inspirational figure in his family seriously, which explains his future aspirations in tech: to learn as much as possible.
Equipped with his new IT and career skills, Desmond was recently hired as an IT Support Technician for the Baltimore City Health Department. For him, this is just the start of what is sure to be a fulfilling career in tech.
“My number one career goal is to learn as much as I can and move up as much as I can,” he said. “Within the next three years I’d like to see myself as a cloud engineer.”
Thank you to our supporters, including Huawei USA, for supporting young students like Desmond.