Hello folks! My name is Ashley McIntosh. I am a recent graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University, earning my B.A. in English with a concentration in Non-Profit Business Administration. This summer I have the incredible opportunity to serve as a fellow at Per Scholas, a nonprofit IT workforce development agency. Here’s a little bit more about the organization: Per Scholas offers free IT education and job training to underserved communities in Columbus and throughout the United States. The services that Per Scholas provides allow graduates to begin successful careers in the IT field, breaking the cycle of poverty through education and training.
Needless to say, I am beyond excited about this organization and everything it represents. But one of the things that I am most excited about is the passion I see in the classrooms of Per Scholas. Today I was able to sit in on a class and I’ve got to say, I have never seen a group of people more dedicated or more engaged than this group at Per Scholas. The students come from all different walks of life. I was amazed to hear about the variety of life experiences represented in one room. Some students are young and just starting their careers; others came to Per Scholas looking to change careers later in life. Despite their many differences, these students are united in their commitment to education. I’ve spent the majority of my life in classrooms and I’ve never been in a class more eager to learn. It honestly blew me away.
After sitting in on this class, I started to reflect on my own educational experience and how it relates to my role this summer as a fellow. My university’s motto is “To Seek to Learn is to Seek to Serve.” This little saying has really resonated with me for the last four years and I thought of it again today. I have the opportunity this summer to continue my education, learning from the staff and students at Per Scholas and through hands-on experience. Much like Per Scholas’s job training allows graduates to better serve in the Columbus IT field, the things I learn through this fellowship will allow me to better serve my community for years to come. And for that opportunity, I am so very grateful. Stick with me this summer to see how I’m able to learn and serve!