ITWorks alums share their stories of success - Technical.ly Delaware

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Mar. 10, 2015 1:55 pm

ITWorks alums share their stories of success

ITWorks — a program for young people that provides professional IT certification and real-world internships throughout the region — will be at our March 12 NET/WORK jobs fair.

An ITWorks graduating class.

(Photo courtesy of Tech Impact)

Technical.ly’s take on a job fair, NET/WORK, will feature 13 local organizations that are looking to hire.

Staff from ITWorks — a 16-week program for high school graduates ages 18 to 26 that provides professional certification in IT and real-world internships throughout the region — will be on hand at the March 12 event, which will be held at the University of Delaware’s Horn Program in Entrepreneurship.

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Tech Impact, which is the nonprofit group that supports the ITWorks program, recently honored those who help students connect to careers in IT during its 10th anniversary luncheon in November.

And this past fall, students who participated in the ITWorks program interned at Christiana Care, Capital One, the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Girl Scouts, Goodwill, Prestige Academy, the University of Delaware and the Latin American Community Center.

Now, meet two ITWorks graduates who share their stories on how the program has changed their lives.

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Kendall Garrett
  • Age: 23
  • Hometown: New Castle, Del. (by way of Chester, Pa.)

When did you get involved in ITWorks and why?

I graduated from the Spring 2013 Delaware ITWorks class. When I found out about the program I was working at a job that I pretty much hated. As I wasn’t in school at the time, I was unsure what my next move would be. When my mom emailed me the information about this opportunity I thought it a long shot at best. I had been somewhat of a self taught tech “expert” all my life, but never fathomed making a career out of it. Much to my surprise I was contacted the very next day and asked to come in for an interview. I could not pass up this chance to make something of myself.

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What kind of work are you interested in?

I currently work in a service desk IT role for a large bank, and would be thrilled to locate opportunities to advance my skills in a desktop support or networking role.

How has the ITWorks program helped you or changed you?

The program helped me tremendously. Not only did it directly result in the start of my career, but I gained valuable connections and life skills as well. The level of confidence I gained throughout the course of it will remain with me for life.

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Jeff Kapochus
  • Age: 24
  • Hometown: Brookhaven, Pa.

When did you get involved in ITWorks and why?

I was accepted into the ITWorks program in July of 2014 as one of their Delaware students. The program seemed too good to be true at first, but the reason I applied for it was because, at the time, I really had nothing else going for me. I was working a dead-end job (which recently went out of business) for way too many hours making way too little money. I had no marketable skills whatsoever, I didn’t have the money to go back to school, I was, in the scariest sense of the word, trapped. ITWorks represented a way out: I was being given real practical marketable skills and I didn’t even have to pay for it.

What kind of work are you interested in?

I’ve always been interested in technology, so the type of work I desired always followed suit. I enjoy doing IT work, but to be honest, my heart has always belonged to the more development side of things. I like the problem-solving that comes from writing code — I actually enjoy debugging, which is not something many people can say.

How has the ITWorks program helped you or changed you?

Honestly, ITWorks has completely turned my life around. I went from being a sad, overworked, and underpaid kid with no real skills who had resigned myself to working retail jobs I couldn’t stand just to make ends meet to a real IT professional with a job that challenges me intellectually, treats me like a functioning adult, and pays me a livable wage. I am now the complete opposite of what I was when I started.

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