Geekwise Student Success Story: Jacque Solano
From a very young age, I figured out my mother was a superhero; the lengths she went to make sure her family didn’t work in the fields and saved us from the worry of the chaos that lay beyond our walls of innocence. Though like any superhero, they have their kryptonite, my mother’s happen to be diabetes. By the time I graduated high school, my mother was deemed bed-bound due to discs that broke in her back and her leg amputated due to ulcers that could not heal; soon after, she would lose her other leg. My sisters and I never gave up hope that superwoman will get through this as we always had, but my mother passed away on Easter in 2014.
The world doesn’t stop for you when an unexpected tragedy occurs, so immediately after I had to get a job to sustain living under a home we were renting in – we lost our home in January 2014, so we lived in a rental. I was able to get a job at a customer care center, and I did that for nearly three years, but during that time, I was living paycheck to paycheck, and some months, it was to the point where I lived with no PG&E. I was at a point where I could not handle it anymore and was desperate to make my life better because if I didn’t soon, I feared I would have done something that would prevent me from telling this story now. I faced issues because I had no degree or work history in what I had a passion for doing; web development. Back in the day when Myspace came out, I got into the HTML/CSS styling, so when Myspace died, I thought it did too. When I spoke about leaving for Silicon Valley and living in my car to make it, my significant other let me know about Bitwise downtown. After looking them up and finding out about Geekwise Academy, I decided to take a leap of faith and try it out; I used up the last of my money to pay for a course.
The moment I walked into the doors of Bitwise, it felt like heaven’s gate opened for me. Immediately I felt the energy, the spark, the smell of coffee, and the warmth that wraps around you on a cold winter night. After my first class session, I went home crying because I was so happy to have found something precious that reminded me of how it was when my mother was alive. After taking all the courses at Geekwise, I got accepted into a Women’s cohort, and soon after, a paid internship landed me a job at Shift3 Technologies. A couple of months later, I gave back by becoming a Mobile-Friendly instructor for Geekwise, and I love my job. Today I am now a web developer for SixDegrees of Bitwise Ventures and continue to teach at Geekwise.
Since becoming a Bitwise family member, my world has shaped into ways I could not imagine. This company saved my life and many others by taking a chance on us and believing in us when no one else did; I and many others are eternally grateful. The best part about it, I get to tell everyone that I work at Disneyland.
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