I wasn't supposed to be a Googler.
Where I come from, guys like me are not expected to become software engineers. The facts and figures suggest that I should've been either dead, in prison, or homeless. I grew up in the murder capital of the United States and the birthplace of gangster rap. I lived in an extremely poor neighborhood of an extremely poor city. I can still remember laying my head on an air mattress hungry on at least a couple of occasions. I also remember being physically and sexually abused by a family member and a neighbor who lived upstairs. By the time I found myself in the lobby of the Department of Children of Family Services at the age of four on my way to my fourth foster family, I was actually relieved that my two younger brothers and I would have the chance to start a new life in separate foster homes away from the evil of our early years.
I was not supposed to grow up to become a software engineer at the best company in the world.
I eventually came to know the love of an incredibly benevolent pair of loving foster parents who reunited my brothers and me under one roof. They gave all that they had to raise me and pushed me to work hard to get good grades, even though I attended schools in one of the worst school districts in the nation. With scrappy determination, I promised to become a first-generation graduate of a four-year university despite being continually bullied through middle school for being the smart kid. I eventually developed a love for computers and computer programming, taking every opportunity that I could to visit the small computer lab that we had at school to learn how to send email, search the internet using Gopher, and browse the web with Netscape.
INROADS discovered me during my last year of high school. The recruiter told me that I could secure a job at a top company and that INROADS would train me to build a successful career. Having nothing to lose, I signed up and got my first programming job as an intern at City National Bank, fresh out of high school. INROADS trained me over the next three summers and paired me with successful corporate professionals to learn valuable leadership and career development skills as I gained on-the-job experience. I was already a full-time, salaried employee by the time I graduated from college when many of my friends still didn't have plans for life after graduation.
I, and others like me, are passionate and motivated about doing our part to give back to INROADS because we owe so much of our success to them. The mission of INROADS is to develop and place talented underserved youth in business and industry and prepare them for corporate and community leadership. I bear witness to you that this is exactly what INROADS did for me.
An international organization with over 35 offices, 2,000 interns, and over 200 companies, INROADS is making a difference in the world by preparing a highly talented and diverse pool of workers for corporate success. If you believe in supporting Google's commitment to increasing diversity in technology, please join me in supporting INROADS.
Review from #MyGivingStory