Alumni Stories

A Second Chance in Tech

Manny Ledoux from inmate to a future in tech at Dropbox

Manny Ledoux

A Second Chance in Tech
Software Engineering* '21
  • Job Title
    Contingent Worker
  • Employer After Graduation
Manny's Story

Manny Ledoux spent the latter part of his 20s incarcerated, dealing with drug troubles, and associating with the wrong people. One day, Manny came to the realization that his life needed new direction. He needed to find his way out of his troubled life and into a brighter, more rewarding future. This decision led to a marriage, a new beginning at a community college, the worldwide setback of COVID-19, and even a spell as a plumber. It was at that point in his life that he found Kenzie Academy, as if by chance.

Finding Kenzie Academy

I’m sitting under some salon that we’re plumbing, getting dripped on by who knows what. I pull up my phone, and I’m scrolling through Facebook, and I see an ad for Kenzie. I was like, well, I had a lot of fun doing computer software stuff before. And so I think I should give it a shot again.

The Enrollment Process

I filled out the little survey form or whatever, and then the admissions lady actually called me within 10 minutes. So I walked out from underneath the salon to outside where I could talk, and I was enrolled that day.

What Stood Out at Kenzie

First and foremost, would have to be the culture. The people have always, and I would hope always will be absolutely, just absolutely incredible individuals. They offer all kinds of support. Like there was just a very, very positive environment that’s conducive to a great learning experience.

Kenzie’s Support System

The staff was really, really good about taking care of the learners and any types of issues that they may have come across. They were always really lenient with people. They were willing to work with people. Just the staff, the institution, they’ve all been absolutely incredible to work with. The experience itself was great.

Manny Ledoux Today

I’m a contingent worker at Dropbox. And so as of right now, my position is temporary. So, the specific apprenticeship that I got was for justice-involved individuals. People that have been through the system and are trying to get their stuff together and change their life. And from what I understand, I am the third apprentice to go through this specific program, and the other two that did ended up getting job offers. But that doesn’t guarantee that I’m going to get a job offer. If I don’t, then I have some pretty incredible stuff to bolster my resume because they have me building an entire premium feature by myself. That’s my project.

Job Readiness Through Kenzie

As far as preparing me for the workforce, I feel like I was actually really, really well prepared. I was able to jump right in on day one and start. As soon as I was given tickets, I was clearing out one to two tickets a day.

Looking Back

You know, I have to pinch myself sometimes. I used to sit in my jail cell and just think about, you know, what I was going to do when I got out. And at no point could I have ever dreamed that I would be as happy and, like, as fulfilled as I am today.

Advice for Anyone Considering Kenzie

I guess the best one would be you’re going to feel overwhelmed. And sometimes, some people, they may even feel inadequate. However, those feelings — you may feel like that right now — it’s not reality. If it was easy, everyone would do it. But anybody could do it. You just got to stick with it. And I believe in anybody that’s going through this program. And the help is there. All you gotta do is, it’s just be right here.

There’s no denying Manny’s story is one of pure determination and drive. Having the strength and motivation to make such a drastic change in life is nothing short of admirable. If you’ve been looking for your own change and want to take your future to where you know it can be, take a look at our list of programs and complete your application once you’re ready to move forward. You can also get in touch with us if you have any questions about our programs.

*This alum graduated from a previous, non-credit bearing, version of the software engineering program.

Read more about Manny's Story!
"The staff was really, really good about taking care of the learners and any types of issues that they may have come across."
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