We partnered with Uber to LevelUp their driver partners.

Through Pursuit LevelUp, we partner with companies to identify, recruit, and train their existing workers to become software engineers. Upon completion of Pursuit Core and passing the partner companies’ hiring processes, LevelUp participants are offered full-time positions as software engineers at their company.

 
 
 
 

Leadership

The partnership was led by the efforts of leadership from both Uber and Pursuit. At the start of the program, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi met the Uber drivers as they began their journey. Throughout the program, engineers from Uber provided invaluable mentorship and guidance as the Pursuit Fellows tackled the challenges of coding.

 
 
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Abed Hussain

For three years, I’ve been driving passengers to their destinations, without any direction of my own.

My family moved to the United States when I was 12 to escape poverty in Pakistan. I was happy to leave because anywhere was better than where I grew up.

During my sophomore year of high school, my father was injured. I had to drop out and got a full-time job stocking merchandise at a local grocery store to support my family.

Since then, I’ve been wandering. I’ve worked as a teacher, managed dollar stores, volunteered at a farm in Spain, and have driven for Uber.

Pursuit has exceeded my expectations. The Pursuit team fosters a deep sense of community. They shows they are invested in us through their payment model: since we only pay if we’re employed in high-paying tech jobs, Pursuit works that much harder to help us build our careers.

Now, I’m working for Uber Eats. I’ll have a great salary, increased standing in my community, and be able to support my parents. Pursuit and Uber have given me not just a direction, but unlimited paths to follow.


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Alex Park

Growing up in Queens, I was surrounded by diverse cuisines and a cheap computer—the seeds of my passions. Coding and cooking may seem incongruous. But for me, they align perfectly: with both skills, I create something, refine it, and watch others enjoy it.

Pursuing my interests professionally hasn’t been easy. Due to the 2008 recession, my parents lost their deli of 30 years. Now in their 60s, both work laborious jobs. I’ve had to work full-time since I was 16. 

After high school I enrolled in college but had to drop out for financial reasons. Then, I enrolled in and graduated from the Pastry and Baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education. That, too, led to financial challenges as I was severely underpaid as a cook. To support myself, I took on a second job as an UberEats driver.

Now, after completing Pursuit’s training program, I’m developing their software. This will give me the opportunity to take care of my parents and finally allow them to relax. I also hope to unite my interests in food and technology by creating an app that teaches recipes and culinary skills. The joy of sharing a meal isn’t dissimilar from sending a message—coding and cooking forge connections.



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Abdelwahab Oukfir

I’m an immigrant from Morocco who moved to the United States 10 years ago in search of opportunity. At the time, I was working toward my master’s degree in political science. I thought I would be able to finance my education. But I was wrong. I wasn’t able to find a job, and I was forced to drop out because I didn’t have the money to pay for college.

To support my myself and my family, I got every kind of job you can think of: cashier, deli server, food delivery person, sales person, food truck server, slaughter house manager, bookkeeper, Central Park Tourist Guide, pedicab driver, yellow cab driver, limo driver and finally, an Uber driver. 

Driving provided me with flexibility. But I still dreamed of going back to school and earning a degree in computer science. I found out about Pursuit through an email from Uber. When I saw the opportunity to train to become a software developer, I thought, “This is the perfect solution.” I wouldn’t have to pay anything up front, I wouldn’t have to spend years in college, and I’d have a shortcut to the tech industry, which is where I wanted to be.

Now, after going through the Pursuit LevelUp program, I’m a software developer for Uber Eats. Ever since I came to this country, I’ve had a belief in myself. I firmly held onto it. That’s what kept me moving for the last 10 months. That’s what kept me moving for the last 10 years. I’m so grateful that Pursuit believed in me enough to give me this opportunity.