James Mazza and Shawn Davis, recent Las Vegas ITWorks graduates.
On June 17th, Las Vegas ITWorks students, friends, family, and supporters gathered “to celebrate the first step towards a successful career in the IT field – although maybe a small step in the grand scheme of things, a step in the right direction,” as graduating student James Mazza said in his speech at the final ceremony.
ITWorks has an enormous impact on not only its students, but on the community as a whole, creating career opportunities for people who may not have felt they had anywhere to go in life, and enabling graduates to become role models and positive forces in their communities. James Mazza has certainly felt that impact, saying that “before this program came along, I was unemployed with zero confidence, and a crippling fear of failure. I spent many sleepless nights lying in bed wondering if I was going to be a failure my whole life, would I ever amount to anything? Would I ever make my family proud of me? These thoughts plague me no longer, and I know now, without a doubt, that I am going to be successful, and it’s thanks to you, all of you here today that I was able to turn my life around.”
Graduate Shawn Davis also spoke about the impact ITWorks has had on his life, thankful that he didn’t pass up the opportunity to apply to the program. “It's been an amazing experience these past 16 weeks, and I never would have thought it would go by as fast as it has. It seems like it was only yesterday when I was finding out about ITWorks, thinking it was something that sounded a bit too good to be true. I'm personally glad I didn't let that skepticism prevent me from applying.”
Both James and Shawn were nothing but appreciative for the time ITWorks staff and volunteers had put in, and more than anything enjoyed the time they spent with their classmates. To close his speech, Shawn said, “To all the wonderful volunteers who have helped us by selflessly giving their time. Those who hosted us for our Friday sessions and provided a space for us to learn. Being able to visit all those locations and meeting you all has been a highlight of these past months. And lastly I would like to thank my fellow classmates. You guys have been a riot, and made coming to class every day so much easier. It's been a pleasure to learn and grow alongside you all and I hope for nothing but success in all of your futures.”
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