Derrick Shares His Plans as Career Services Manager and ‘People Builder’
By Yvette Scorse, Communications Manager
Derrick is focused and passionate. With only a few weeks on the job at Byte Back, he clearly articulates his goals in working with students, with alumni, and with employer partners.
It’s easy to become excited about the future of Byte Back career services when speaking with him – he inspires that kind of confidence.
“I have a particular passion. I consider myself a people builder,” Derrick says. His master’s in social work and his background in human services is central to that vision. He’s here to “help people identity their best selves,” he says.
It’s clear to Derrick that opportunity abounds, especially for people with IT skills. “There are opportunities,” he says, and “people need access to them and opportunities to get those jobs.”
“People have a right to be gainfully employed and be above the poverty line.”
Derrick’s career has been guided by this vision. He has shown his passion since moving to Washington, DC from Florida 10 years ago for graduate school at Howard University. Since then, he has worked with Project Empowerment at the DC Office of Employment Services, at Jubilee Housing, and at Northern Virginia Community College. These positions have given him impressive workforce development experience. He knows how to find people jobs.
At Byte Back, Derrick’s vision for Byte Back career services is three-part:
- “I want students to become a partner in this journey,” going beyond a student-teacher relationship. After students graduate, get certified, and become gainfully employed, they should be invested and give of their time and talent to help the students coming along behind them.
- “I’ll be connecting the organization to numerous employer connections, not just for an employer to hire a few students but a real partnership.” Derrick is already developing relationships, working to line up jobs for students and, in turn, to provide strong candidates for hirers. He’s also determined to expand internship opportunities for students.
- “Students should be well trained, they should be polished, and they should remain positive in this journey.” Ensuring that students are work-ready is important, Derrick stresses, but equally important is that negativity isn’t accepted. “You’re in this thing to win it,” he says.
Already, Derrick has seen the strength of Byte Back students and what they have to offer. “They’re dedicated. They have overcome some significant challenges and are still able to get through intense training,” he says.
Now he’s ready and eager to push Byte Back students even further, to help them become “their best selves.”