A speech given by Demika Alston, Byte Back graduate, at the Grand Opening of the organization’s new headquarters on Oct. 12, 2017.
“Good Evening my name is Demika Alston, and I’m currently enrolled at Byte Back in IT Fundamentals. Byte Back was brought to my attention in 2016. I had been working in restaurants for years. I felt like technology had grown up around me, and I was losing the battle. Without a college degree and very little experience with computers, I didn’t know how to move my career forward. While in class with Streetwise Partners, I wrote down my short term and long term goals, which were to get more computer skills so I could transition from working in restaurants to a Government or Nonprofit Organization. At the Streetwise graduation, I met Monique Riviere, Byte Back’s Chief Programs Officer, and that’s when I knew Byte Back was the place for me.
My first class was PC for Beginners taken at the Edgewood Brookland location. After that I took Office Track, located up the hill from where I live, at the Skyland Community Center in South East. Then I moved on to Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Excel at Byte Back’s old office in Brookland. Travelling to these classes was challenging, but completing them made me feel extremely proud. That’s why even when I had trouble with Outlook and Excel, I stuck with it an eventually became certified after taking the test three times. Like they say ‘third time is the charm.’
This beautiful new headquarters will make it even easier for me to succeed. When I worked in the service industry, I never worked much with computers or came to an office. The feeling of coming to an office every day, sitting at a desk and working with these tools makes me feel ready for a new career in business administration that will help me provide for my family. Now when I see people working desk jobs, I know that I have the skills to do that.
I would like to say Thank You to all of our funders, partners, and volunteers for helping Byte Back grow over the years and contributing to this amazing new headquarters. Your support will help many students like me succeed for years to come.”