by Jose Vila, Pursuit 3.0 Graduate
Before joining Pursuit, I was barely making above minimum wage. I was living with five roommates and was thousands of dollars in debt. My salary wasn’t on par with my experience or where I wanted to be in my career.
I wanted something more — a job that would engage my love of STEM and offer the financial stability I always wanted.
I started searching for programs where I could learn how to become a software developer. When I found out about Pursuit and its goal of creating opportunity in New York City, I thought, “This is exactly what I’m looking for.”
The program was hard. But that hard work paid off: in just 10 months, my life changed forever. I landed a job as a mobile SDK engineer at Moat, one of the best ad-tech startups in the country.
In just 10 months, I went from being in the working class to the upper middle class. And I was able to accomplish this goal without paying anything up front or taking out any loans. All I needed was grit, perseverance, and the desire to succeed.
My training was made possible with Pursuit Bond. Through this innovative funding model, Pursuit receives impact investments to fund its training program; program graduates then contribute a portion of their salary to pay back that investment if, and only if, they get a job making more than $60,000.
Pursuit is taking on a big risk because if their programs don’t work — if their graduates don’t get jobs — they’re on the line for paying back that investment. In other words, it’s their job to make sure we get jobs.
In helping me to get my position at Moat, Pursuit fulfilled a promise to help me transform my life and career. And so now, I’m fulfilling my promise to them by contributing to paying back the Bond. I submit my Pursuit Bond payment every month so Pursuit can provide Fellows with the same opportunity I had: to apply the grit, ingenuity, and hard-work needed to turn their hopes and dreams into something real and life-changing.
I’m also giving back to Pursuit by making a better life for people in my community. After working during the day as a mobile SDK engineer, I go to Pursuit at night to teach Android development to the organization’s newest cohort. Pursuit has had such a big impact on me and now, I want to help the organization by training future generations of developers.
My time at Pursuit was invaluable: I've made lifelong friends, learned programming languages and frameworks, and strengthened the job skills I needed to succeed at one of the most innovative companies in the tech world.