What program are you in?
I am in the Cyber Security program.
For a very long time, I had no idea what direction I wanted to take my professional life. I have only ever worked seasonal and minimum wage jobs my whole life. I always had an interest in computers but I never fully committed to making it a career. When I turned 30, I realized that if I didn't do something I would be poor and struggling in a dead end job my whole life. I started going to Rogue Community College in Medford for a transfer degree to Oregon Tech for software engineering. When I was registering at Oregon Tech, I learned that a new program had just been created, cyber security. I quickly changed my degree program to cyber security and looked forward to becoming a cyber-security professional.
When will you graduate?
I will graduate in 2023.
Where is your hometown?
I am an alternative student at Oregon Tech. I am an older student at 31 years, and I have a family that I support. I have moved around during my life but I was raised in Medford, Oregon.
Are you on externship? If so, where? If not, have you done one and where?
My degree program is still very new and the question of externships is still to be decided.
What do you love about Oregon Tech or your program?
So far, I am very glad I picked Oregon Tech and my program. The classes with an emphasis on computer programming make me glad I didn't choose software engineering and the network security classes reinforce my desire to work in this field. I strongly look forward to each class learning about networks and security. I am grateful to be able to learn from professors that have a deep knowledge of their subjects and often have experience in the field.
What are you looking forward to upon graduation?
I am looking forward to graduating Oregon Tech and finally having a career, one that will allow me to support my family, one that I can grow and move up in, and one I enjoy learning more about.
How has COVID-19 (coronavirus) impacted you this term?
Having a family and trying to raise a kid during the coronavirus has been challenging. Children are anxious to get outside and play with their friends, and not having their parents attention (because we are busy with schoolwork) makes it even more frustrating for them. I also worked a part-time job at Enterprise rent-a-car and while I did not make a lot of money, it went a long way towards supporting my family financially. Because of COVID-19, my workplace has closed and I am left waiting to hear if I am approved for unemployment. This scholarship that I received relieved a lot of worries that I had about this situation. I was starting to become very concerned that I would not be able to pay our rent every month.
What else should we know about you?
I am so thankful for this scholarship and the professors and staff at Oregon Tech. I love being a student here and I look forward to the future.