Jaden Dicks: It is never too early to start. [CyberVista intern]
Jaden dicks: My name is Jaden and I am a 12th grader at Phelps and right now I'm interning at CyberVista through Urban Alliance.
Jaden dicks: When I was growing up, maybe like in middle school, I've always had a passion for computers and I didn't know what in computers. I really liked, you know, stuff like VR video games. My favorite player was like Sonic. I was really, you know, interested in computers. I was always, you know, curious of, you know, the potential of computers and what can get into it and while I was really trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my future and I needed to know what high school can best benefit me career wise and one of my good friends told me about her high school and I went over there, got interviewed, went through the whole process, and I ended up meeting the IT teacher and he was telling me about all the opportunities in his field and why it would be a good choice to choose the school, so thankfully I chose the school and I now attend the school and I'm on pace of graduating.
Jaden dicks: I grew up with technology, like, as I was growing up, I was growing up with Instagram, around my pre-teens, Musical.ly turned into TikTok and that started becoming a big thing. And the thing was, I didn't even have social media back then and in all honesty I really wanted to experience it and to see what it had to offer or everything that I thought that I was missing out on and when I finally got to it, it just grew my hunger for it even more so.
Jaden dicks: So it all started off back in eighth grade, there was an after school program for coding and pretty much for like for about an hour we just learned how to code pretty much. And they gave us cookies. We learned how to code and that's where my love for working on computers started.
Jaden dicks: My first job was only one day a week on the weekend, every weekend at a car wash. What I was supposed to do was customer service, and I was supposed to sweep and mop the floor so it doesn't overflow cuz it was a car wash. So, after a good three, four months of working that job, I had to resign for two reasons, number one reason was because it honestly got depressing. I could not see myself doing something like that every single day. And the second reason why I had to resign from my job is because my grades were honestly slipping. I was really struggling in one of my ELA classes, so I had to resign and give more attention to that. But after I got everything I needed to take care of, taken care of that upcoming summer, I did SYEP, the Summer Youth Employment Program, and basically I was supposed to be a IT assistant, but sadly to say my manager at the time, he wasn't doing his job correctly, so I had to be transferred to finance. And in all honesty, I've learned a lot of good things from finance because in the finance we learned about how money can be managed, and that gave me just a taste of what the real world was like.
Jaden dicks: Now, I'm at CyberVista through Urban Alliance. Now Urban Alliance, they're pretty much a program to get kids in the DC region a good head start in the workforce. What we had to do before we got into the workforce was go through a eight week training us how to, um, use stuff like Google Sheets, how to act at work, how to code switch, and how to be professional and also practice it during the eight weeks. So they'll know whether or not we're trustworthy enough or whether or not we're ready to take on certain jobs in certain roles. I stayed disciplined and I was pretty much doing everything that I needed to do in order to secure my spot. Urban Alliance helped me set my goals by getting me connected with people and certain jobs that I didn't even know was out there. They opened doors for me that was nearly impossible for me to open for myself.
Jaden dicks: I've overcome plenty of challenges throughout the whole process of it all. One of the, the very first challenges that I faced was during Covid 19 cuz that's the um, year that I had to start taking IT essentials, which pretty much was the start of everything and that's supposed to be an in-person class. That set us back almost a whole year. We had to take the whole class virtually. So it was just a big mess. I was struggling, I was putting in a lot of extra work after school, just studying and it was just a big struggle. The second challenge that I encountered was when we got back into school, my focus shifted from my occupation to, I'll be honest, girls, because, I was in a house for way too long, for way too long, and I just shifted my focus a little bit and I lost focus. I had to get my focus back on track and then after I got my focus back on track my goals started skyrocketing because things just started going better for me. I started becoming, you know, the type of person I always dreamt of my younger self to be.
Jaden dicks: My advice to anyone who is young, ambitious, and wants to make a good living for themselves. The first thing I always tell anybody is look at your interests and what you like to do because one thing I've been advised by a very close mentor of mine outside of work, what she told me was, if you enjoy what you do, you won't work a day in your life. Number two is you had to have, you have to have discipline, and you have to really want it, and this is coming from somebody who's still in the process of getting what they want. You have to really stay disciplined and hone in on everything that you want to get. Whether that's, electrical, whether that's construction, whether that's IT, whether that's anything, whether it's drawing, whether it's being a YouTuber, being a gamer. It doesn't matter what you want to do, like you have to hone in on it and work hard at it.
Jaden dicks: Last thing I would say is don't be afraid to ask for help. Never rely on anybody else for your success, but don't be afraid to ask for help, cuz nobody does everything on their own. Especially if you dream big. Even if you look at the most successful companies, Apple, Microsoft, Google, they all have a network. They all have a team, it's not just Elon Musk, it's not just Mark Zuckerberg, it's not just Mark Cuban, it's not just Jeff Bezos. They all have people to work with and they all have a network, so don't ever be afraid to invest in yourself and to ask for help and to get guidance from somebody who knows more than you who are or has been in a predicament you have been, because his or her advice, or helping you get to your stepping stone, could save you maybe years of training. It is never too early to start.