Education was not important to me in junior high and high school and I never seemed to excel. Even achieving a C grade was a rare occurrence. I was shy, had a lack of both motivation and confidence and had the inability to focus which was a bad combination when school was involved. My reading comprehension was low and I was afraid to ask questions. During my junior year of high school, I dropped out of school feeling confident I would be fine without a high school diploma. Through family and friends, I found my way into construction and year after year, I stayed despite feelings of dissatisfaction. My outlook on life changed when I was 36 years old and my wife got pregnant; I wanted nothing more than to be the best person I could for my family. I knew then my future would need to include an education leading me to a career that would allow me to provide for them and feel happy at work. One of the most intimidating events of my life was choosing to quit my job and return to school with an overwhelmingly young student population.
I am now 42 years old and have earned my associates of Applied Science in Computer Science with high honors from Weber State University. I will be completing my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a 3.82 GPA April 2021. I work as a Software Engineer for an internet company and genuinely love my job. It is now clear to me that my earlier education difficulties did not properly define my intelligence. I went back into school with the intention of great success and that's exactly what I achieved. I am so glad I did not allow my fear of school to define the rest of my life and best of all, my children will be proud of their dad and have the ability to see me as a role model. If you are considering going back to school, please take the leap and feel confident in your skills. It’s likely you, similar to me, will be amazed at your talents.
What did it take to turn a high school dropout into a software engineer? (Deseret News)