In 2016, Guy Burnham experienced a serious, life-changing moment. A year later, after picking up the pieces and looking for a new direction, he stumbled upon a story about the organization that would change his life and give him a new start: Per Scholas.
Per Scholas Cincinnati is a nonprofit Information Technology training school. Catering to mostly nontraditional students, Per Scholas offers fast-paced, intense tech training to prepare students for entry level position in the IT industry.
Thanks to the training and mentorship offered at Per Scholas Cincinnati, Burnham is now happily employed as an IT Specialist and looks forward to a much brighter future. He tells Soapbox readers more about the difference it has made in his personal and professional life.
What Per Scholas program did you complete?
I completed the IT Support Training Program at Per Scholas. The program was hands-on, very intensive, challenging, professional and creative. It required versatility and adaptability in order to master the skills that are in-demand in order to get to the finish line. In the end, it was one of the most transforming experiences I have undergone to date.
In what ways did Per Scholas prepare you for what came next?
Per Scholas has truly prepared me to understand, prepare for, and face life and any of its unwarned challenges. For example, after graduating Per Scholas last August and almost a year after starting an exciting career as an ITL Administrator within the Charter Schools System, I was told that the school had lost their sponsor and would be shuttering its doors. However, instead of reverting into dismay and panic, I smiled and launched into proactive mode … and was to land a new job before the doors were completely shuttered on the old job.
I graduated Per Scholas with a level of confidence that is sound and unshakable. I now journey through life with a perseverance that is admirable, respected, and appreciated within and outside of the workplace. [I also gained] an adaptability that allows me to embrace and counter any challenges that may arise in my day to day activities, whether at work or life in general, and a marketability that lends to a peace of mind and guarantees a seat at the table in an ever-changing world and talent space.
How has Per Scholas and starting a technology career impacted your family, kids, and spouse, etc., or your personal life in general?
Per Scholas is the single most impactful and greatest thing that has touched my life in as long as I can remember. Words are simply not enough to justify and describe the changes this [brought] to my personal life as an individual and my family’s life as a whole. Using the mental toughness and self-discipline from the program and being able to incorporate it into family life has moved us to create family time. My family and I now make the time almost daily to share our experiences, challenges, blessings, and even take some time to do some activities that engage everyone.
What does it mean to be a Per Scholas Ambassador?
The privilege of ambassadorship has blessed me with the opportunity to further the conversation on this hidden gem and phenomenal organization. It [means] having the privilege to speak confidently about my experiences with the program to both inquiring minds and those yet to be exposed to this remarkable and unique organization. More importantly, given what I have toiled through, [I am] now a living example of the profound change this program has made in my life … Thanks to our merciful God — and his limitless grace, mercies, and directives — who has led me to Per Scholas where I can now speak proudly of being rebuilt from the core out, and hope to reach and touch as many lives as possible as a proud Per Scholas Ambassador.
What does the future hold for you?
I currently enjoy a rewarding career as an IT Support Specialist and I am working on completing the prerequisites towards my goal of becoming a Cybersecurity Architect.
Support for the Cincy’s Got Tech Talent series is provided in part by Per Scholas Cincinnati. A CompTIA A+ & Network+ Certification class begins on April 23, 2019. To apply, visit Per Scholas Cincinnati.