As a woman of color entering IT, a field that despite industry-wide best efforts for inclusion, only hires women at a 10% rate and people of color at 2% rate, Joyce R. found an opportunity to gain an advantage against odds. Joyce is a graduate of Cal State University, Dominguez Hills, from which she was able to obtain her degree thanks to a scholarship program called STEM Advantage. In a feat of effective partnership in education and employment opportunities in technology, the scholarship was able to connect Joyce to a partner program, OpenTech. At age 42, Joyce completed a one-year Registered Apprenticeship with Sony Corporation through the OpenTech program, and was hired with Sony as a Project Analyst at a salary over six figures.
Kanisha Turner (27) is a mother of two, originally from the Inland Empire and now resident of the City of Los Angeles. Kanisha has always been an exceptionally motivated young-woman, driven by the work-ethic and mentorship her father provided her from a young age. Kanisha’s father would take her to civic events, including trips to City Hall, LAPD events and medical departments just to help her get a feel for her career interests. Kanisha had always been invested in supporting and working in her own community. All she needed was to find the opportunities that would transform her aspirations into her proud accomplishments.
Born and raised in Argentina, Juan Battini (24) immigrated with his parents to Los Angeles in 2001. His parents left Argentina with hopes of economic prosperity and greater educational opportunities for their only child.
Battini’s family settled in Los Angeles and at the suggestion of a relative, Juan enrolled in Foshay Learning Center. The eight years Juan would spend at Foshay would direct the trajectory of his life. Looking back on his Foshay experience, Juan credits two influential figures for giving him the support and knowledge necessary for his success; a guidance counselor (Mr. Sippo) and his computer science-technology academy teacher (Ms. Leslie Aaronson).
Until only recently the one recurrent theme in his life was moving. Born in Northern California and raised in the Southern United States and Northwest Coast; Antoine never really knew one home. His mother often found herself transferred from job to job. In order to provide as single parent, she had no choice but to uproot her three children. In 2011, the family returned to Northern California and Antoine began his freshman year of high school.
Thanks to our partner OpenTech, STEM Advantage Scholar Benji recently landed a full-time position at DAQRI. Benji was an applications intern at DAQRI for six months. Then he was offered a full-time position as a software engineer. Benji earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Cal State LA.