Chok Ooi, the founder of Kenzie Academy, once said: “The only difference between two people—one who comes from privilege and one who doesn’t, with both equally smart and hardworking—is access.”
Access to quality tech training and education can transform a person’s life. Unfortunately, many people today still lack critical access to life-changing higher education, often because of the rising cost of college tuition and the demand to dedicate four years to receive the necessary training and credentials.
Fortunately, there is Kenzie Academy, which aims to bridge the gap between quality and affordability in education. It was founded to level the tech field so people from all walks of life can get the job they want and ultimately improve their lives.
Kenzie Academy’s DNA
Helping those who think a tech education and career aren’t within reach is embedded in Kenzie Academy’s DNA. Since its founding in 2017, Kenzie Academy has given more people access to real-world tech training.
Kenzie Academy’s high-quality programs focus on workplace readiness and hands-on learning. Its programs are designed to give learners in-demand job skills for today’s market while giving them a growth mindset to ensure career success. This is paired with personalized attention from course facilitators and mentors who fully support learners from the start until they land their first tech job.
The bootcamp also constantly works to keep its programs as affordable as possible through various flexible payment options that allow learners to focus on their training. Thanks to Kenzie Academy’s commitment to accessibility, many graduates have gone on to fulfill their goal of starting their tech careers. Among them are Timothy La and Diarte Jeffcoat.
Kenzie Academy’s high-quality Software Engineering and UX Design programs are designed to be accessible to students from diverse backgrounds.Browse Kenzie Academy’s offerings here.
Kenzie Academy Alumni Reviews
Timothy La, Software Developer at Infosys
Each coding bootcamp has its share of student success stories. However, it’s rare to come across one as unique as Timothy La. After majoring in communications in college, Timothy worked in diverse fields without knowing what career path he wanted to pursue long-term. He tried his hand at politics, finance, and even worked as a ping-pong coach for a while. In January 2020, Timothy was scrolling through social media when he discovered Kenzie Academy through Career Karma. He took the Software Engineering program, and as they say, the rest is history.
Timothy chose Kenzie Academy over other coding bootcamps because its Software Engineering program ran for 12 months—longer than the typical three-month coding bootcamp programs but much shorter than the traditional four-year window. He wanted to take his time with his training and learn at his own pace.
Timothy was quick to credit Kenzie Academy’s mentorship service for helping him reach the level of consistency and commitment needed to thrive in the program. “That link of having the facilitators and coaches cheering you on, especially when you finish an assessment, really helped.”
“Number two was the flexibility. It was perfect timing in March 2020 when COVID-19 hit because we were already using Zoom, Slack, and everything was remote, so it didn’t affect me. Staying home made me even more consistent.”
What sets Timothy apart from other stories is the additional challenge he overcame to get to where he is today. Timothy was born with radial dysplasia, meaning he was born without radial bones in both arms and needed multiple surgeries as a child.
“With Kenzie being remote, I didn’t have to tell anyone about my hands. I actually made the analogy that I felt like Spiderman or a superhero because people could see the costume, but people didn’t know what was under the costume. My costume was being able to type so fast and even leading the capstone projects. People didn’t know what was under the costume.”
“Everyone has their gifts. I guess my gift is typing. I can type really fast. Faster than a lot of people,” Timothy shared, adding that last October, he decided to share his story on the Kenzie Slack channel.
“I’m glad I did that because when I graduated and got offers, the Kenzie Placement Team asked me to come back and share my story. There’s a quote that says, ‘Your problems aren’t special, but you are.’ Everyone also has their own hardships, like working multiple jobs while studying coding. Hopefully, my story inspires people to remain consistent.”
By being consistent with the Kenzie Academy program, Timothy hit his goals. He now holds his first full-time position as a software developer for Infosys, a Kenzie Academy employer partner.
“Back to the superhero analogy I mentioned earlier, I feel like Superman. With all the trials and tribulations in the last 10 years, not knowing what career path to go to, and finally finding my career path, it only goes up from here. From rock bottom, in a sense, to everything just gets better from there.”
In advising those looking for the same path, Timothy asked: Why spend the day doing something that you don’t enjoy?
“Someone said the greatest gift you can give yourself is doing something you love, every day and as a job.” Timothy is a testament to this every day.
Diarte Jeffcoat, Associate Engineer at Mphasis
After obtaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Master’s Degree in New Media Journalism, Diarte was made VP of Marketing for South Carolina Pride Movement while also working at a background screening company. Despite his credentials and position, Diarte felt unfulfilled with his career and uncertain about his next career move.
It was during that time that he remembered his passion for programming during his college days. His first brush with programming was in high school where he learned basic coding skills. He dabbled with it again in one of his classes in college.
“It was around 2019 when I hit a point where the questions were strongly coming in. I started losing my passion for writing. Then, I discovered Career Karma. I didn’t know what it was about but it led to a roller-coaster ride that I am still on to this day. I made a complete 180 [degree turn] in my life and I haven’t stopped smiling since then,” he said.
Discovering Career Karma led him to the doors of Kenzie Academy and eventually to the wide world of tech. “I thank CK, Kenzie, the tech community, and everybody that I’ve associated with in the tech community for revitalizing me and bringing a flame back inside me,” Diarte shared.
For him, Kenzie Academy was fully committed to ensuring his success. “They want you to make it. They’re willing to provide you with all the resources and tools to get you where you need to be,” he said, adding that Kenzie Academy not only wanted to make him a successful programmer but also a successful person in life. “That’s what really spoke to me.”
Kenzie Academy’s strong sense of community is also something that Diarte took with him after finishing his program. “We not only built a community but a family. It’s best to develop a rapport where you all understand each other. Through [Kenzie], I was able to understand different voices, different perspectives, and different walks of life. It also helps you once you get into the tech industry.”
During his job search, Diarte focused on actively applying and overcoming the mindset that he was not good enough. “It was more along the lines of helping to build my best self personally, emotionally, and mentally. To have that balanced state of mind where I’m presenting my best self.” He reached out and talked to recruiters, people in the tech industry, and learned about companies that were about to open up and recruit new people as well as their working culture and environment.
His efforts paid off.
Diarte currently works as an associate engineer at Mphasis, a tech consulting company where he is involved in QA testing. He works with clients to build testing frameworks, platforms, and basically build better processes.
“So far, I love it. I was anxious at first, but I reached out and learned that this company is about building you up. They don’t expect you to know 15 frameworks or 15 languages. It’s a constant learning process. It has been six months, and it’s just awesome. Everyone has been amazing,” he continued.
Amid his newfound success, Diarte has kept in touch with the people who supported him during his time at Kenzie Academy. One of them is his mentor whom he meets every couple of weeks.
“So many people have helped me get to where I am today. I will never say that I did it alone. It’s always going to be with a team, a mentor, or someone else helping you to get there. Never be ashamed to receive help or guidance because it’s catapulting you towards success in the future,” he added.
For those looking at Kenzie Academy or who are already working hard in the program, Diarte’s one piece of advice was for students to embrace failure.
“Build yourself [up into] a diamond,” he said. “Everything is rough initially but through practice and patience, you can develop into a diamond. It’s still imperfect, but it’s more beautiful in the end compared to when you started. Don’t be afraid to build your own diamond.”
Launch Your Tech Career with Kenzie Academy
Kenzie Academy offers a flexible learning model that provides learners with a wide variety of activities and experiences. Its programs are designed and implemented by applied learning science experts and industry professionals.
The curriculum focuses on teaching job-related skills and creating projects that are relevant to real-world tech roles. Kenzie Academy ensures that students receive practical, hands-on, accessible training designed for career readiness and suitable for diverse learners.
Paired with affordable and flexible payment plans, the Kenzie program makes the dream of a tech career well within reach. Click here to learn more about Kenzie Academy’s programs.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.