#StudentSpotlight: Candice White

September 12, 2017

 My name is Candice. I am a 33-year-old wife and mom of two with a background in nonprofit work. I am a multi-passionate professional with a unique connection to tech. I have a bachelors and masters in Social Work, in hopes of finding a cause or two to change the world. I have 10 years of education-related nonprofit experience.

 

I learned to code around age 9 or 10, having an uncle as a programmer, who taught me a bit of C++ a LONG time ago. As a teenager, I played around with website design for fun, but never pursued it as anything more than a pastime. I started getting back to it three years ago. It is not commonly taught or utilized in my local community, especially youth. With a background in social work, I didn't think I could get into programming. Now I realize the opportunities in coding and don't know why I ever stayed away.

 

I was at a large nonprofit doing data collection and database training when I felt the need to spread my wings and do something on my own. Around year five of eight, I started a local volunteer-based nonprofit called ALOE (Another Level of Excellence). This has been a passion of mine for years, guiding middle schoolers to STEM career exploration opportunities. I was passionate about this due to my own background, coming from a low-resource community. I also experienced mentoring my own cousin into college, and he is now an engineer for a corporation and attending John Hopkins for graduate school. He is my inspiration and part of my vision. Around the same time, I began a new role for my employers by managing full-time volunteers for a federal program called AmeriCorps VISTA.

 

Once I reached 8 years at my first nonprofit job, my new skills helped me land a role at national nonprofit. I was a full-time manager helping underrepresented kids throughout the country gain exposure to computer science. I travelled and hosted trainings at Silicon Valley at Google, managed people from all walks of life, and saw a vision come to fruition in one year. While in this role, my company required multiple other responsibilities, such as managing statewide events and national conferences. 

 

For me, it started to be a lot. I have a young family and my husband was building a business of his own. I resigned and went on to become a part-time teacher for a brief time, only to be laid off. Talk about a change. I went from making more money than I ever have and traveling the country to doing fairly well serving youth directly (big win), to back at home on my own. 

 

It was such an experience that it took some time to process the turn of events. However, it was powerful because it was on time. At that very time, my husband decided to launch his gym while working, and it has not stopped growing ever since. I decided to pursue my career coaching certificate. I knew my passion was helping others learn how to be happy with their careers. I have experienced such strong feelings being fulfilled at work that I knew I wanted to help professionals like myself find their passions and connect to more fulfilling work, so I started Power of Me Coaching.

 

I still pivot to different skill sets due to being a multi-passionate person. I have even applied to a job and been told that I have an entrepreneurial mindset and they wanted me to go be amazing at what I do. It took me awhile, but now more than ever, I am learning to own what I know and learn from it. 

 

The career journey for me has been full of peaks and valleys in the past few years, but I am excited about what God has been working on in my life. I recently received the Woman Techmakers Udacity scholarship. With this, I am most excited about getting a new start. Last year I was laid off and didn't have direction for my career. I knew I wanted to get into tech, but didn't have the mentorship or motivation at the time due to experiencing multiple life changes and loss. 


I most recently lost my grandmother, who has been my inspiration, my encouragement, and my caretaker as a child. I received the news about the award the day of her funeral, which was definitely confirmation of my direction. I have learned a lot about myself through this journey.

 

- Candice White

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