From street food vendor to IT analyst


“This experience reaffirmed my conviction that education and access to opportunities can transform lives.”


In Medellín, Colombia, Jorge grew up in what he calls precarious economic conditions, which prevented him from attending school regularly. “I learned to read with discarded books,” he says. And even as a student, he had to work to support his family.

But from childhood, Jorge had a passion for electronics. “I remember watching, fascinated, how my uncles repaired televisions, and when the first computers arrived, I felt the need to learn how to repair and manipulate them,” he says.

The juicy side of IT

This became useful when he lost his job during the pandemic. “Thanks to my knowledge in structured cabling, I was able to collaborate with a friend installing servers, cameras, switches and racks,” he says, adding that he still had to “sell oranges on the street to support my family.”

The taste of working with networks had taken root, and Jorge decided to continue learning and expanding his skills by studying at Cisco Networking Academy at SENA, Colombia’s national training service attached to the Ministry of Labor.

“I loved the way the courses were designed, with hands-on teaching and labs that made it possible to put the acquired knowledge into practice and reach different types of people,” says Jorge.

Deep professional development

“Studies at the Networking Academy were fundamental to my professional development,” he says. “I learned to understand and analyze the infrastructure of computer networks in a deep way. In addition, I have acquired technical skills and practical knowledge that allow me to solve problems scientifically. Thanks to the courses, I was able to strengthen my ability to design, deploy and manage networks efficiently, which has been invaluable in my current role as an IT Analyst.”

“After years of dedication and effort, I got CCNA certification. This certification represents an official recognition of my skills and knowledge in data networks,” says Jorge. “It was an achievement that opened new doors and opportunities for me in the field of information technology. I am grateful for the Networking Academy's support in preparing me to reach this milestone, and I continue to work hard to grow and expand my networking skills.”

Sharing to inspire

Jorge has gone on to share his inspiration with other underserved members of society.

“I had the opportunity to organize an introductory workshop to Cisco networks for low-income youth in my community,” he says. “It was a rewarding experience to see how these young people, many of whom had never had access to technology before, discovered their passion for networks and found a new direction in their lives. Some of them went on to study and are now working in the field of data networks. This experience reaffirmed my conviction that education and access to opportunities can transform lives.”



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