Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

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December 6, 2016

Creating Problem-Solvers

Edina IT-Ready graduationLast week, Creating IT Futures held its largest graduation in Minnesota. Graduation speaker Jim Afdahl of GED Testing Service proclaimed the 22 graduates as problem-solvers. Most of the graduates had already earned their CompTIA A+ certification and had started the job interview process.

Afdahl said, “CompTIA A+ gets you in door, but through IT-Ready, you’ve also learned how to solve problems, and that’s what employers are looking for.”

The graduates’ instructor, Nikki Frederick, reminisced on the energy and excitement of the students on their first day. “You blew me away,” said Frederick. “We’ve helped you build a foundation for your career, but what counts the most is what you learned about yourselves.”

Graduate Sherlana Richards worked a full-time job at night while she completed her eight weeks of IT-Ready training. She would leave class at 4pm, commute home to see her son, grab a couple hours of sleep and then work nights from 11pm to 8am. Then she rushed back to IT-Ready class by 9am. Richards was “incredibly thrilled to be a part of the program.” She said, “Karin (the IT-Ready program coordinator) had a smile for each of us every morning. We felt like you wanted us to be here. I felt like we were a family for these past eight weeks.”

Graduate Hamza Yousef echoed Richards’ comments about the staff, saying, “The people that run the program, they want you to do good, not just because it’s their job, but because they truly care. If something bad happens, they feel it with you.”

Graduate Eupheng Vue also thanked the staff. He came from the delivery service industry and said, “I found something grounded with IT-Ready, knowledge that can grow from a small seed into a big tree.”

Looking for a new career while recovering from an injury from his construction job, Derrick Guy found out about IT-Ready from his wife. He said, “It was a godsend to get accepted to IT-Ready. I’m so glad I made it through.” Another student, Samuel Burr, had worked in the car industry but wanted a new start. He found IT-Ready and said at graduation, “I love this. IT-Ready has given me so many new avenues to try.”

Graduate Eric White may have summed up the class best when he said, “While the graduation certificate is an individual achievement, today is a group achievement.” The students leaned on each other to help them get through training, pass the CompTIA A+ exam and get ready for job interviews.

Creating IT Futures will continue to work with the graduate over the coming week to place them into jobs. The staff work with more than 60 Minnesota employers to make career connections for the students. Employers interested in hiring IT-Ready graduates in Minnesota should contact Tom Pinger at

/developing-programs/it-ready/locations/minneapolis-st-paul-mn">Applications for the next IT-Ready class in Minneapolis are due online by January 2 with the class starting training on January 30.