Christy's Story

Christy is a 37-year old native of California who moved to the Seattle area in 2007. She is a recent graduate from Renton Technical College, finishing her course work with a 3.99 grade point average (GPA). After arriving in the Puget Sound area, Christy had time to focus on what she was academically interested in.

“I’ve always liked math a lot, because everything is orderly and it makes sense to me. Every problem has a logical way to solve it.” Christy took a GED class in trigonometry and found that her love of math grew stronger. Upon completion, she sought something else that would give her additional structure and focus.

“My sister-in-law had friends who had taken the welding program at Renton Technical College, and she and my father-in-law encouraged me to check it out.” While taking the Computer Science Program, Christy found the Renton Technical College campus environment very supportive and staffed with welcoming guidance counselors and instructors to help her achieve her goals.

“I went to Renton Technical College and talked to the counselor about how I’ve always liked taking things apart and putting them back together, and how good I’ve been at math, and then I talked to (computer science instructor) Tim Culler, who went through the syllabus with me and said ‘We don’t expect you to have previous computer experience and skills, but you will be challenged by this curriculum.’” Renton Technical College instructors and staff helped Christy set up the Associated Student Government (ASG). With a part-time position as ASG President, she had a paid job on campus which assisted with tuition costs.

“I knew that I could come to work for a few hours and then go back to class, which really helped me out. I feel at home here, and as the founding student government president, I can be open with my story to older students and others who are struggling, to encourage them that they can do it, they can change their lives with education.”

“Renton Technical College is all about helping students succeed. I received emails frequently from instructors about job openings, and Tim Culler sends out information on open internships. Karen Post (instructor) and Tim Culler encouraged me join the Association of Women in Computing so that I could expand my network and talk to other women in computer science, since we’re a minority in this field.”

The Future

Even though Christy has graduated from Renton Technical College, her academic journey is far from over. “Now that I’m enrolled at WGU, I can apply for internships at Boeing, Microsoft or Amazon. My target is Boeing, where I’d like to work while getting my Bachelors and Masters Degrees. But I think that all I’ve learned about software and web development, database administration, SQL servers and scripting languages for web design would fit me in with a lot of different companies in Seattle.