Alumni Stories

Manny Ledoux: Finding a Second Chance in Tech

Manny Ledoux was sitting under a salon building, working on some plumbing issues and getting dripped on by questionable fluids, when he took a short break from his job. He was scrolling through Facebook and found an ad for Kenzie Academy that piqued his interest. By the time he made his way out from under that building, he was determined to enroll. It was a major step in turning his life around.

“I initially ended up getting involved with the wrong people, doing the wrong types of things. I ended up spending pretty much the later half of my twenties incarcerated for one reason or another.”

It was after his last stint behind bars when Manny decided he needed to make a change.

At the time he thought, “This isn’t the life for me. This isn’t working for me. I can’t do this anymore. Drugs are not helping me out. They’re hurting me.”

So Manny got married, moved across the country to Kentucky, and decided to enroll in community college.

MANNY'S STORY
MANNY'S STORY

“I was looking through the little book of courses and majors, and I was like, ‘I’m pretty good with computers. I think I’ll try computer software engineering.’”

Manny’s community college adventure began with a C++ course taught by a passionate professor who sparked an interest for technology within him. It was a great start for a budding tech hopeful, but the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.

Once his college was forced to shut down, Manny had no option but to put his education on hold and get a job as a plumber.

“I didn’t know anybody here. I didn’t have any friends. I knew my wife, obviously, but I didn’t really know what to do for work. And so I got a job working under the table doing plumbing for my wife’s uncle.”

As fate would have it, Manny’s decision to take on a job as a plumber was the catalyst that eventually led him to discover Kenzie Academy that fateful day under the salon building.

“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.”

Manny enrolled in Kenzie’s Software Engineering program that prepared him for the real world with a curriculum defined by current industry trends and incredible support from the Kenzie Academy team.

“[Kenzie Academy] did really, really good at keeping the resources available when they said the resources were going to be available. The instructional staff always seemed to be very caring and compassionate,” he said.

“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.”

Today, Manny is a contingent worker at Dropbox where he’s leading the efforts to create an entire premium feature for the file hosting service. In fact, Manny believes Kenzie Academy played a crucial role in ensuring he was ready for his new job.

“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. And so the work wasn’t hard.”

Manny also credits Kenzie with providing and encouraging a culture full of positivity, constant support, and incredible individuals ready to provide a helping hand as he made his way from a troubled past to a bright and successful future.

“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.”

Manny’s story is the perfect example of perseverance, positivity, and drive. It shows us just how important motivation is in the search for a brighter future and reminds us of the value of every learner’s story. Are you ready to write a story of your own? Get in touch with us for more information or apply today.

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