The sun was surprisingly out on a chilly winter day in Seattle. It felt very positive driving towards Tukwila with a couple of dozen donuts for our first Tech meetup on the South-end of Seattle. Arriving a little too early, I started setting up the room as I saw some familiar faces walk in. We started the meetup with a Skype session with one of our instructors (as he was travelling.) As we got into a discussion several attendees joined including Skillspire alumni and current students. We started with introductions and talking about what the attendees were pursuing currently.
Most of the attendees were refugees and immigrants who came to the US from war-torn countries, currently Uber drivers or in low-paying jobs, pursuing studies in community colleges. They were interested in knowing what really “learn to code” means. And what the buzz is about computer programming. We talked about how the tech industry is growing in Seattle and the opportunities to get plugged into the tech eco-system.
Our alumni students talked about how they landed a job after the course, about job search, why it is so important today to learn coding which permeates pretty much every industry. After a good one hour of discussion about course details, networking, job search support during and after the course, we had to wrap up.
But the one-on-one discussions with the attendees and alumni continued.
One person, who is currently pursuing Computer Science in a local community college was very thankful for bringing this to Tukwila and wanted to learn more about the Full Stack Web Development course. His comment stuck with me, “There are people like me, who have a CS background that come to this country looking for better opportunities. But we are forced to take-up low paying jobs and struggle throughout our life. We want to get ahead with the right education, network and resources. And we need to be given an OPPORTUNITY.”
That’s it. They need an opportunity to prove to themselves, to their families and communities that they can do it, despite all the odds.
We, at Skillspire, are working hard to provide this opportunity to the segment of population that need it the most. Will you help support Skillspire?