Recoding Futures - Meet Cole!

Oftentimes, in tech there are stereotypes for people studying or working in the industry. Here at ComIt, sometimes people think that they can’t pursue tech because they don’t fit the stereotype of someone who is considered to be “tech savvy”. We will sometimes get asked, “is tech for me?” The truth is, there is nothing in this world that can define who belongs in tech. If you are passionate about tech, you deserve the chance to explore it for yourself and your future.

Scholarships for Indigenous Students

Recoding Futures is a program that provides funding for Indigenous learners to pursue studies in tech, expand their digital skills, and kickstart their future career in tech. We are so grateful to be a part of students’ successes, and milestones; students like Cole. Cole is a Cree ComIT graduate who sat down with us to talk about his experiences with our courses, and his interest in digital skills.

When asked about the courses, Cole discussed how the classes were during the COVID-19 pandemic. The hours were flexible, and since the classes were online it was very accessible for him. He expressed his excitement about the teachers, their knowledge, and expertise in their field. For our founder Pablo, Cole expressed some kind words about him, “he’s super kind, he started this whole thing himself. He wasn’t born in Canada, but now he wants to help. He was very noble.”

ComIT first started in Argentina, when Pablo came to Canada he wanted to give back and help support Indigenous communities in their education and find career opportunities in tech. Now we have provided over one thousand people an education in tech for free.

Working in Tech: Recoding Futures with ComIT

Since graduating with ComIT, Cole now works at Scotiabank on a team that helps maintain and upgrade applications. He was first introduced to ComIT when his Aunt saw a Facebook ad and he signed up right away! Cole always knew that he wanted to pursue a career in technology, and he thought about pursuing a university degree in computer science. While he had an interest in tech, he didn’t know much about the tech industry. So, the Recoding Futures program provided an accessible opportunity for him to pursue an education, and a career in technology.

Tech Education and Support for Indigenous Learners

During his time with ComIT, he has taken several courses such as our intro courses into web development, CSS, and HTML. He found himself very impressed with the variety of ComIT’s programming. Eventually, he gained all the skills he needed to build a game for his final project. Cole spoke very highly of his final project, describing it as a grid game similar to Battleship.

We also discussed the representation of Indigenous people in the tech industry. He mentioned his uncle who works in tech, and how there isn’t representation for Indigenous people in the industry. With Recoding Futures, Cole discussed how everyone in his classes were Indigenous and that this was a new experience for him since he’s never been in a class where the majority of students were Indigenous. Our mission here at ComIT is to break down barriers for underrepresented groups. We are honoured everyday to be part of the movement that’s making tech education accessible for Indigenous communities.

Even when students graduate from ComIT courses, there is always support. With ComIT, students have access to job and networking opportunities. We are grateful to have been a part of Cole’s journey in finding his current job. Our founder Pablo reached out through a Slack channel for graduates, and announced that Scotiabank reached out to ComIT with a program to hire Indigenous people. This was a natural fit for ComIT, Scotiabank, and Cole. To help support Cole, we helped him build a resume, making it appear more polished and professional. This was a fantastic opportunity for Cole, and provided him with the opportunity to work from home.

Since graduating from ComIT, his brother who is interested in tech asked Cole how he got his job. Cole has recommended ComIT courses to his family. We are so proud of Cole, and are happy to have been part of his journey in finding a career in tech, and we are so grateful that he is recommending ComIT to his loved ones.

If you are wanting to participate in ComIT’s courses, you can register for our Recoding Futures program. Registration is open year-round!

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