In 2010, Manuel was a junior at Hubbard High School on Chicago’s Southwest Side. At that time, Genesys Works was a brand new program in Chicago—he had never heard of it, and didn’t know anyone who had participated. This fear of the unknown almost held him back, but he thought about how much he loved computers and decided to apply. Technology had always been an interest of his. He spent his free time learning about computers, and his neighbors knew him as the guy to call when their machines stopped working.
Once in the program, he spent his summer in training. He was forced to confront his shyness head-on and give multiple oral presentations. He did this until he was comfortable and realized, what had once been a weakness was becoming a strength.
"Genesys Works put me on the right path. I graduated from college and my brothers followed in my footsteps."
Manuel was placed in an internship with Chicago Public Schools. After proving himself with entry-level tasks, he was given more responsibility, and then more. By the end of the year, he was overseeing the redeployment of all the computer labs at the CPS offices. Manuel was accepted to and enrolled in college, however his mother lost her job three times while he was in school. Because Genesys Works connected him with an alumni summer internship with AT&T, he was able to leverage that into a job within the IT department of Palos Community Hospital throughout the rest of his time in college.
Today, he is a proud graduate of St. Xavier’s University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science – he is the first in his family to have a college degree. Manuel works in the Loop as an IT Support Analyst. His two younger brothers followed in his footsteps and participated in the Genesys Works program. Both are now in college. Genesys Works has certainly impacted Manuel, and it has now made a difference for his entire family as well.
To support students who are currently participating in Genesys Works, please click here to make an online donation.