Ruben Cruz

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Ruben's interest for technology peaked in high school where he was an avid pc gamer with a strong curiosity for computer software. He would take apart computers he had around his house and modify them to make them faster. The more he did it, the more he realized he enjoyed learning about technology. After high school, he enrolled at Durham Tech Community College and took a course in Java programming. Shortly after that, a friend recommend him to Code the Dream. Since then, his journey as a software developer has continued to evolve. Ruben has worked on a paid project called Kidznotes, which is a virtual classroom system that allows teachers to manage and keep track of their students' work in a user-friendly format.

Posted on February 18, 2018 .

Crystal Brown

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Crystal grew up in the small town of Cliffwood--near Keyport, New Jersey. She didn't initially have her sights on attending college, but ultimately decided to do so. During college, Crystal was an accomplished student with high marks. However, after graduation, she found herself working a series of  draining retail and customer service positions. While at work, she would often imagine what a better future would look like for herself that included a profession that she could find to be both challenging and interesting. Since childhood, she had been interested in games and games design, but she didn't discover coding until her work after college. At which point, she began to dabble with HTML & CSS tutorials on her own before encountering Code the Dream.

Posted on February 17, 2018 .

Jafet Aparicio

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Jafet got his first computer at the age of 10. Just like any boy at his age, he was curious as to how everything on the computer was produced. As he grew older, he didn’t have a chance to explore his curiosity for technology more deeply until he was a senior in high school. At that time, he aspired to become an online business owner with the intent  to help his family. He wasn’t sure how to do it, but fate somehow connected him to CTD. He was extremely excited and nervous on his first day of class because he was unsure of how fast-paced the environment  would be. Despite his initial anxiety, Jafet performed well in all of the classes and was able to work on an app called Stempericle. Due to this work experience, Jafet found out that he prefers back-end developing over front-end developing. He is now enrolled in college and is continuing to hone his skills.

Posted on February 16, 2018 .

Cynthia Rios

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Cynthia is the youngest CTD student we have accepted into our program and has been able to gracefully advance in all of our courses. Before CTD, Cynthia was a sophomore in high school taking a career management class that prepared her for a future career and college. However, Cynthia wanted to check out other options before deciding on what career to choose as well as which colleges she wanted to apply to before she got to senior year. She ran across CTD while she was volunteering with another local nonprofit and was given a flyer. Since then, she has continued to build upon her coding skills. Despite her young age, she has already worked extensively on an application called Kidznotes. To anyone else that is thinking about learning to code she says, “there are others like you who want to learn to code and don’t know where to start…...it never stops being challenging--there’s always something to learn.”

Posted on February 15, 2018 .

Fernando Osorto

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Two years ago, Fernando took a chance with Code the Dream and pursued his curiosity for coding. The first time he ever saw a computer was when he was 8 years old and living in Honduras. He went to an internet cafe to talk to his dad, who was then living in the United States, and was amazed by the technology.  Fernando continued to be interested in computers, while he worked his way through high school and Johnston Community College. At that point, he still had a strong interest in coding, which he pursued wholeheartedly through taking Code the Dream courses. He started from the bottom and worked his way to the top in terms of coding skill and was even able to make a real world app, ConectateCarolina.org. Based on the experience and knowledge he was able to gain through CTD classes, he landed a full time developer job at Duke University. “Programming has helped me in the fact that it’s helped me to be more persistent in things,” said Fernando.

Posted on February 14, 2018 .

Daisy H

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Daisy, both an alumnus and the current Program Director of Code the Dream, moved to the U.S. from Ghana at the age of four. By virtue of being the eldest child in her family and a first generation immigrant to America, her life was difficult.The expectations placed upon her to attend college immediately after high school were high.  Growing up, she always felt different from the rest of her friends and felt limited by her background. As an adult, she stumbled upon an article about tech careers and the benefits they offer, including well-paying positions and a flexible work schedule. From that point on, her interest in coding had taken root. Soon after, she discovered and applied to Code the Dream, where she typed her first line of code while juggling her role as a stay-at-home mom to her two wonderful children. Within a year, she landed a full time job at Duke University as a software developer through countless hours of hard work, determination, and the support she received from Code the Dream. She is now back with Code the Dream to ensure that current and future students receive that same kind of support to achieve their dreams.

Posted on February 11, 2018 .

Cruz Nuñes

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Cruz has developed and created a career from scratch. He was a busboy at a restaurant before diving into the world of coding. He, much like the rest of his classmates, had always had a unique niche for computer programming. Cruz has faced many struggles--such as having a chronic knee injury that doesn’t allow him to complete certain jobs. However, he has not let that prevent him from reaching his goals. He heard about CTD through an email and from his father. He took the opportunity and made something out of it … literally. After completing all of the advanced courses offered by CTD, Cruz went to the Iron Yard, a professional coding school. From there, he started working as an independent developer. He is currently working with a local business owner on an app called Garbage Gears.

Posted on February 10, 2018 .