Forging a Career Path in Computer Science

Covenant House Alumni Alex

Alex, now 21, has been interested in computer science since he was a freshman in high school. It’s a passion that has propelled him forward through a period of homelessness, to finding safety and support at Covenant House, to his first steps into this burgeoning field.

"The field of computer science opens up opportunities anywhere you go,” Alex says. “There’s a saying in the industry: ‘Every company is a software company that does something else.’ In particular, I’m excited about the field of A.I. and the application of automating a lot of physically demanding work, especially."

That enthusiasm carried Alex through some challenging moments.

"Despite any situation I was in, I just tried to look ahead to a better future,” he says. “A key part of that is education and the opportunities it opens up."

While experiencing homelessness, Alex moved from shelter to shelter, frustrated in his attempts to pursue his education and his goal to work in AI. Then he found Covenant House Missouri (CHMO).

At CHMO, Alex says he found the support that both gave him space for self-discovery and nurtured his career goals. He completed high school while at CHMO and went on from there to study computer science for a year at a prestigious school considered an expert in the field.

Alex says his experience at Covenant House was transformative because "they were there to support you on the path that you set out as opposed to laying out a path for you to follow. I really appreciate that approach. They just helped me continue to do all I could to do well in school during my last two years in high school."

And, he adds, "They allowed me to concentrate on my life goals and getting resources to support those goals and just continue on to my career in computer science. I probably wouldn’t be where I am now if it were not for the support-structure approach that [CHMO] had."

Over the summer, Alex worked at an internship in the software monitoring industry. "I learned a lot while there, and I continue to learn a lot about that industry. It was a great first stepping stone as I continue my career," he says. "My next step is to seek my next internship." Alex says he will continue to hone his skills in anticipation of landing the right position that will continue to move him forward in his chosen field.

November is Youth Homelessness Awareness Month, an opportunity to deepen our understanding of young, ambitious people like Alex, who pass through homelessness on their way to building the life and career they never cease dreaming of and working toward.

Visit throughout the month to view a series of "Mission Moments", videos featuring Covenant House alumni, including Alex, who share their inspiring stories of determination, strength, and courage.

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