Meet Chris: Rising to Success

Chris is a determined guy with a good head on his shoulders. His goal has always been to work in the information technology (IT) field, but he wasn’t exactly sure of how to launch his career.

He first heard about The RISE Initiative through his brother-in-law who had participated in Seeing Youth Succeed (SYS). “I saw it as an opportunity to find employment, make a better resume, and [have] more effective interviews,” he said.

When it comes to interviewing, Chris says his nerves can sometimes get the best of him, so the mock interviews conducted virtually and in-person at ECS were especially helpful. “I built more confidence … they made me feel more prepared,” he shared.

His in-person mock interview, fittingly, was with ECS’ senior director of information technology and innovation. Chris did so well that what was meant to be practice, turned into an actual interview, landing him a paid internship where he gained first-hand experience of working in an IT department.

“I learned a ton. I wanted to be challenged a little bit. They said, ‘Okay, we’re going to give you this server, you’ll have to break it down, learn all its components, and try to put it back together.’ And I figured that out!”

Today, Chris works as a sales associate at Target, trying to perfect his “customer service skills and learn how to adapt to different sorts of people.” His next goal is to earn his CompTIA A+ certification, which he refers to as the ‘Holy Grail’ of the IT world.

Looking back at his time with RISE, Chris added, “I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t know about this program. I’m just so grateful that I have been told about this place.”