If someone asked me to define diversity, equality, and inclusion at the start of DeVry. I would be stuck on diversity, while my thought from then to now would not change much. I would have and still define it as different or differences between people, groups, jobs, and positions. You cannot compare the CEO of one company to the CEO of another, even if they sold or made the same products or services; the locations, cultural groups, and markets are different. I learned that early on, I traveled in the early part of my 20s around the states. I worked for an engineering company as a junior network engineer. I was a help desk with experience. Because I had no college or professional education, they could not give me the full title. It showed me a wide array of cultures, cities, people, and places, and how diverse a country we live in. I was raised as a child in part of a state where you did not discriminate against color, race, or sexual preference. Everyone was a person, and until that person proved otherwise, you treated them with the honor, dignity, and respect they deserved. Guess some consider me old school for a young mind, while I am only 36. I worked with a gentleman who thought I was in my 40s for over a year. He almost choked on his food while eating lunch one day; I mentioned my birthday was in a few days, and I turned 25. To continue discussing college and DeVry, brought new opportunities to my table. I have an employment history that impresses people, and while I was CompTIA and Microsoft certified before high school graduation, I never had formal education. Louisiana College and LSUA worked with administration staff on course design for their classes, just never as a student. So, in 2016, when I was hurt in an auto accident, I took the opportunity to bring my education up to date.
One of the things I found while attending the school’s classes was an invite to “The Unofficial DeVry IT Discord,” a group created by a few students about two years ago to help bring students together, share interests, collaborate, develop connections, and create an environment where they can grow professionally together. When I joined a little over a year ago, it was 300+ members and growing stronger with every module. Now, I am one of the lead moderators, assisting students every day with networking, systems administration, and security lessons. We have our proven members as tutors who are present or past DeVry students, professionals in their fields, and stick around to help the next class grow and prosper. It is given me even more site into the lives of others, from helping a young lady with SEC285 late one night because she has a full-time job during the day to working with the NETW250 group project and a groupmate who is currently stationed in Iraq still. While I may be a stay-at-home dad, small business owner, and my days are full, homeschooling my two boys. It is still essential that someone be available to those who need a little extra help. Professor Cooper and Professor Waksmanski have both asked me about my plans in the future while I am looking to provide for my family and continue in the IT field. At one time, I taught CompTIA A+ locally and loved passing a trade that always came naturally to me to others. I have trained many in the 17 years of IT experience I have to continue to help those. I graduate with my associate at the end of July and have already signed up to continue into my bachelor’s. The thoughts of a master’s and education have even crossed my mind.
“I think… if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina