My Bond with Pursuit

by Jose Vila, Pursuit 3.0 Graduate

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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.

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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.