NPower Student Speakers June 2018 Graduations Highlights

NPower Student Speakers June 2018 Graduations Highlights

October 28, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


As a woman of color, I am statistically an
outlier in the tech field. In 2008, I was a young man, separated from the military, with little money and no clear path in front of me. In addition to all those things I started
to develop an addiction issue that was hindering my maturity and my rational decision-making. And all those things combined bought my ticket
on the next greyhound back to Baltimore. I refused to ask for help. But I kept thinking it was me. That I wasn’t committed enough and I wasn’t
trying hard enough. I began to believe that an immigrant from
the Dominican Republic, with only five years in the United States and a history of mediocre
public education could never compete with the well-educated, affluent students who
were set up as my competition. And I’m just going to start with a single
word: merit. Success is not vital. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. That sums up my life, pretty much, in a nutshell. I had to reconsider my reasons why, and now
my reason why is simply because my life matters and my story is not over, it’s just starting
to unfold. I’m not only in a position to look out for
my own success and to just look out for myself, but I look out for three little kids that
call me their mentor, their big brother. The fact that I have the ability to put them
in a position to succeed. Oh, class 3, that is what defines me. NPower as a program gave me a reason to live
and made me want to give back to my community. The program gave me purpose and turned me
into a functioning citizen in society. It was also a form of therapy for me. My success in this program helped me to realize
why I was so depressed in the previous years of my life. I was so down and out because I had no direction. I had no purpose and felt disconnected from
the community around me. This can be a cold feeling. NPower gave me a second chance and a family. Today I get to reclaim a portion of my confidence
that was lost when I dropped out of college. Back then I didn’t know myself and didn’t
understand where my passion laid. But today I stand before you at this commencement
ceremony with complete confidence because I know where my heart, how my heart feels when I see meticulous codes spring forth beautiful artwork we call websites. Being provided the opportunity to perform
in work environments where minorities like myself, are underrepresented, has allowed
me to discover the leadership qualities I possess and my ability to produce results. And as a result I was able to, once again, make.. Excuse me. I’m a little emotional right now. Once again I was able to make my parents proud
of me. And I’m thankful and grateful for what NPower has done for my life and the lessons I’ve learned. And I’ll forever be loyal and use the tools
that were taught to me from NPower to make every decision for the future. Living on the edge, as I said, I needed extra
attention. And the NPower team sprang into action with
practical help for things like electricity, things like rent, food. It’s not enough to say thank you to these
people because I had no hope of things changing. I was doing everything I could, with all the
contacts I had, everyone i knew, to fight, fight through. Just like the quote that I started with: it’s
the courage to continue that counts. Never give up. Never give up. Each and every one of you, there is only greatness
from here and we’re destined because we all have merit. Remember your journey does not end here. The only thing you’re doing is you’re
getting a book and you’re getting a pen and you’re just writing the next chapter.