I wrote a post called “I didn’t change them, they changed me”, that gave kudos to Carleton Corley. In fact, recently he came by and has been promoted to a level II Analyst. During his visit, he was admiring my Microsoft hoodie and I took it off and tossed it to him. He has grown so much in the past year servicing his personnel and constantly working with migrating software and hardware that he deserved it (not that it has superpowers). I just hope all of the success stories (students) don’t admire my Microsoft apparel.
The next week I got a surprise visit from Molly Davis who stopped by on her way to work.
You see, Molly is like a daughter to me. She was treated like every other student and faced many challenges to get to where she is now. Always working and going to school showed she had a desire to make it in today’s world. Molly’s sense of humor and contagious smile always brings a smile to my face. In fact, our network admin, Dawn also saw Molly’s desire to succeed and helped her (just as she does all students) along they way.
Within a week, I got a call from Tasha Caldwell, who informed me she is moving to a new job at a major hospital system after working for two years at a large government contractor. Tasha being the mom of a teenager never gives up and continues to grow in information technology.
And who will ever forget when Kyle Stubblefield came by at Valentine’s Day to thank Dawn, Mike and myself. So we became Kyle’s valentine for the day.
Eric Caneer, Jared Ledlow, Danny Carlo (with his new baby and significant other) all came by during the day in person to say hi and to share their success stories. Neil Spector dropped in at night just to check on us and to talk with students.
Oddly enough, it didn’t end there. I went to speak about internet security in Nashville and lo and behold, Billy Young shows up just to tell me about his new job (always moving up). This day oddly became the day of Billys. Billy Bellamy called later to announce a job opening at his organization.
Around 2:30 Avondale Hutson-Fowler stopped by to tell us she was promoted to security. She’s a former student and a good friend.
And before the afternoon finished out, Mickey Chilton called as he always does. Not just to talk IT, but to be a truly good friend.
And the week finished with Maggie stopping by to tell us about her travels. Awesome. Truly Awesome.
Although we give the students a well rounded education to become system admins, their stories of learning advanced information technology never fails to amaze me that they have become so analytical.
Oddly enough, as I explain these visits to Mike and Dawn (my c0-workers), I realize that as I’m looking at them, they too are former students.
Recently Dawn and I won a Shining Star award for our Learning Management System, I realize how much Dawn has grown in IT. In fact I was enthusiastically telling her about the award as she was writing PHP and script for the LMS. Skills she developed on her own.
This post truly isn’t about me or our program. It is about a desire to want more and to learn more. It is about people. People who changed their lives through their passion to learn.
As I said before, when I watch these challenges being overcome, it changes me each and every time. These students are truly another slice of my life that provides me with the motivation to keep doing what I do.