The Pursuit of Happiness

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Student Success Story

by Torian Brown

Jose Rojas

Jose Rojas, 2003 Imagine America high school scholarship recipient

Completed Associate degree from ITT Technical Institute - Springfield, VA - Computer Networking Systems program; Pursuing Bachelor's degree from ITT Technical Institute; Current Help Desk Analyst for the prominent IT contractor RS Information Systems in McLean, VA.

Remember when you were 21 years old? Had you achieved most of your goals and started working in a job and field that you enjoyed? If you were like most 21-year-olds, your answer would be no. I recently sat down to interview a very focused 21-year-old: Jose Rojas of Clinton, MD. Jose is a 2003 Imagine America scholarship recipient, a 2005 ITT Technical Institute graduate and a student success story. Check out his interview!

Torian: Thank you, Jose, for talking with me today. We are always really excited to hear success stories from our career college graduates and former Imagine America recipients.

Jose: Thank you. I am honored to just tell my story.

Torian: So, you attended Prince George's County Public Schools in Maryland and graduated from Surrattsville HS in Clinton, MD. How influential was your high school guidance counselor in helping you get additional education funds through scholarships and awards?

Jose: She was very helpful to me in finding scholarships and selected me for the Imagine America scholarship. She also supported me and my career goals and college decision.

Torian: How did you know right out of high school that you wanted to go into the IT profession?

Jose: Well, I always enjoyed dealing with computers. I wanted to know everything about them and networking systems. ITT also had a lot of programs to choose from that I was interested in. I just knew that was what I wanted to do.

Torian: How did it feel once you received your Associate degree from ITT?

Jose: That felt really good, but I am not through yet. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor's. I felt like I had achieved something great and it gave me a chance to establish myself in a field that I enjoyed. Also, getting a job in my field made it even better.

Torian: Tell us about your job. What do you enjoy about it?

Jose: I work as a help desk analyst for RS Information Systems in McLean [VA]. We [RSIS] provide support service to federal government agencies. My job consists of answering calls and dealing with our clients that are having technical problems within the program. I do a lot of computer programming and problem solving for our clients. The fun part is trying to solve their technical problems – this lets me use my skills I learned at ITT. The thing that I enjoy most is the problem solving. It is really neat helping the customers and then hearing their excitement in their voices once I helped them with their issue. I am happy!

[RS Information Systems (RSIS) provides information technology, systems engineering and technical assistance; telecommunications services; scientific support services; and management consulting to a wide range of federal government agencies. RSIS is the 35th largest federal IT contractor in the U.S. and one of the largest African-American owned companies in the nation.]

Torian: That is great! Sounds like a success story to me. You have accomplished so much at 21. We at the Foundation are very proud and wish you continued success and best of luck in your future endeavors. We hope that your story will inspire other young people to do their best in all that they do. Thanks again for sharing your story.

Jose: Thanks. Thanks to Imagine America [Foundation] for helping me get the scholarship and the opportunity to tell my story.