Powell earned his CompTIA A+ certification in September 2012 through an intensive, Washington, D.C.-based IT training program called the H.O.P.E. Project.
Powell previously enrolled in a history degree program University of Arkansas in Pine Bluff, Ark., where he says he spent too much time partying. "I didn't have a plan, a goal or a map of my future," he recalls.
But when Powell's mother had a health scare and financial problems put college funding in jeopardy, he withdrew from college and came back to D.C. "I was only 18, and to see my mother so very sick—my father had passed away when I was three—I felt a need to come home, take charge of the household, get things done and learn what I needed to learn," he says.
Powell joined the H.O.P.E. Project program, where his sister was already enrolled, to learn technology and customer service skills in the fall of 2011. His goal was to launch a new career in IT to help his family, but he says, "I learned to actually love IT—there are so many advanced skills to learn."
Within a month of passing his exams, Powell landed a job working as an IT specialist for the professional services company HumanTouch, fielding tech support calls from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, where the credential was required.
He loves his current job, but his next goal is to become a SharePoint developer.
"CompTIA A+ and the H.O.P.E. Project built a lot of confidence in me," Powell says. "More than just getting me a job, the experience helped me to think on my own."
to read the full article in this CompTia IT Careers Blog >>