This article was written by Microsoft Ignite 2020 Humans of IT student ambassador Trent Dalcourt, a Computer Science junior from Dillard University. This is the fourth article in a series featuring this year's student ambassadors. To learn more about our student ambassadors hailing from five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) this year, click here. In this article, Trent shares about his personal experiences, inspiration drivers, and journey as a computer science major and #FutureTechnologist.
If I could leave ONE quote behind as a lesson for someone else reading this, it would be: “You have to learn to crawl before you learn to walk”. As simple as it sounds, this quote can be applied figuratively to several situations in life. It enables one to be conscious of the progress towards success while learning humility. It also allows you to learn from yourself while knowing that everything happens for a reason. In fact, this quote has instilled hope and motivation, leading me to strive to be the first in my family to successfully attain a college degree.
For as long as I can remember, I have been on the stride towards success. In my household of 7, my parents have always emphasized the value in education. Thanks to them, I've followed that path over the years. My mother was a program coordinator for a nonprofit organization called “Save The Children”. This same program became an extremely beneficial after-school program at my own school - it made me hone my reading and writing skills. It also encouraged students to develop skills in all areas of STEM. In addition to my interest in video games, going to this program for several school years sparked my interest and passion for technology, which, in turn, led to me dreaming of one day going to college and graduating as a first-generation college student.
Before being accepted into one of the first HBCUs in Louisiana, Dillard University, I had a hard time choosing what exactly I wanted to major in. No one in my family had graduated from college, and I was reluctant to just choose something that I would not be interested in. Also knowing that knowledge is power, I wanted to major in something that I knew would pay the bills and could eventually help me support myself and my family. This led me to major in computer science, with aspirations of one day becoming an IT professional.
In my first year of college, I got to attend my first hackathon and learn new programming languages. I also joined IT-related organizations on campus and made some new friends. My second year consisted of me working towards my goal of becoming a better student, and leader. I improved my grade point average which earned me a spot on the Dean’s List, and I got my first internship by the end of the year. I even traveled to New York for the very first time to attend a conference hosted for tech students! My third year, although I'm only just starting, is already off to a great start. College has given me such a genuinely rich experience that I will be forever grateful for.
I have taken many classes that have helped shape my perspective and knowledge as a student and young adult. I am definitely relishing where I am now in life, and appreciate working hard while letting my work ethic speak for itself. While my undergraduate career has not been easy in the slightest, having a growth mindset helps in knowing that you have to remain consistently resilient and not give up, or else all of the hard work you put in goes to waste. This brings me back to the quote mentioned earlier, about learning to crawl before you walk.
As a Microsoft Human of IT student ambassador, I am super excited to see where I go next in my path towards becoming an IT Professional. In this blog post, I could have listed more failures or doubts of mine. I could have even listed all of the times that I considered given up on my own future. However, I want to make it clear that it is important to know that everything you say about your destiny, your legacy, has meaning and power behind it. If I were to focus on all the shortcomings I had, I would certainly not be where I am now.
Just imagine the people that are looking up to you as a role model, and how much impact you could have in inspiring them to keep pushing on. No matter who you are, where you are from or how tough the journey is - keep taking it step by step, and day by day. Keep working towards your goals, chipping away at it diligently and who knows, maybe one day it will all be worth it.
I know that I have a long way to go, but I also know that I WILL make it. To all of you out there reading this, remember to trust the process. You've got this.
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