Success Comes from Not Giving Up

Inspiring Success - A blog from Creating IT Futures

Success Comes from Not Giving Up

Mar 26, 2018
portland winter graduation march 2018
IT-Ready graduates celebrate their success in Portland, OR.

Jaime Lawson, a recent Portland IT-Ready graduate, inspired his fellow students at his class’ graduation last week by quoting Thomas Edison: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Although Lawson is currently homeless, he was dressed for success at graduation, where not only did graduates receive their IT-Ready certificates, but also met with employers for a mini career fair.

Fourteen students started out in the IT-Ready class with 13 graduating. Eight of the graduates, including Lawson, already have earned their CompTIA A+ certification, with more graduates continuing to prepare and test for the exam. After eight weeks of full-time classroom training, the students had become a close-knit group, propelling each other on and helping to make it to graduation and into new tech careers.

Graduation speaker Colleen Sanna, IT service center manager for US Bank in Portland, commented, “You all relied on each other. Earning your CompTIA A+ certification shows your dedication.”

Echoing both Lawson and Sanna, Kathleen Mrazek, manager, Creating IT Futures, said, “We all need each other to get through this class. You never gave up.”

Representatives from Leyard and Planar talked to graduate about their company.
Graduate Kevin Atten summed up the training, saying, “The course was tough but worth it.”

With five students still working to pass their certification exams, Graduate Yu Te advised his classmates, “CompTIA A+ 901 was hard; 902 was harder. What got me through was to go with my gut. Don’t second guess yourself. The same goes for life – go with your gut and don’t second guess yourself.” 

Graduates praised the Creating IT Futures staff, but particularly April Tessmer, their IT-Ready instructor. Michael Grizzard, “April was the kick in the pants I needed to get this done.”

Ready to start meeting employers, graduate Miguel Quintana said, “This type of education is not available anywhere else. I feel more confident than ever.”

Portland_Graduation_Spring2018TEKsystems met with Portland graduates to discuss local tech job openings. 

Closing out the graduation, IT-Ready partner Reese Lord, tech sector lead for Worksystems, said, “At Worksystems, we help people get training and help businesses get talent that they need to grow. We set out to create a homegrown diverse talent pipeline, and this class is a product of that effort. With the high attendance standards of IT-Ready, these graduates proved that they’ll show up every day, which is incredibly important to employers.”

After the graduation, local employers participated in a career fair to get to know the graduates. Special thanks to Cook Security Group, Leyard, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon Human Development Corp., Planar, TEKsystems, US Bank and Worksystems for supporting IT-Ready and this recent cohort of graduates. Employers who wish to hire our graduates in Portland should contact Amy Eernisse-Liang, workforce solutions manager for Creating IT Futures.


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Creating IT Futures

A 501(c)(3) charity was established in 1998 by CompTIA, the Information Technology Industry Trade Association, as a way to help people improve their lives through IT careers.


We help populations that are under-represented in IT and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure and be successful in IT careers.


Creating IT Futures
c/o CompTIA
3500 Lacey Road, Suite 100
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Phone: (630) 678-8300