Overcoming Obstacles: Meet Tiffany

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Tiffany graduated from New Door Ventures’ Employment Program in 2016, but she still takes the hour-long BART ride to the San Francisco office, so she can participate in extracurricular activities like Tech Club and public speaking workshops. Her determination to succeed and passion for learning allow her to her overcome these obstacles.

“If I had to take a plane just to get to New Door every day, I would,” she jokes

Tiffany and fellow Tech Club members learning the basics of building an iPhone App.
Tiffany and fellow Tech Club members learning the basics of building an iPhone App.

This eager attitude has been with Tiffany since the beginning of her time at New Door. Unlike many interns, she didn’t hear about the program through a family member or friend, nor did she read a flyer. Rather, as Tiffany put it, fate brought her there.

“It’s a funny story,” she recalls. “One morning I shut my door a little bit too hard and it fell off the hinges. Later that day I Googled ‘new doors.’”

This Google search came at a pivotal moment in Tiffany’s life. She was finishing up a program where she learned the basics of administrative assistant work but wasn’t sure what do with this newly-gained knowledge. She had never held a job before and didn’t quite know the steps to take to look for one.

After stumbling upon New Door’s website, Tiffany read about the program and was excited about the opportunity to receive on-the-job training along with a paycheck. She also liked the idea of being with others her own age.

Tiffany was accepted into New Door’s Employment Program and interned in the office of a bicycle advocacy nonprofit in San Francisco. She worked in member outreach and was thrilled to be working in San Francisco, the place to be for someone interested in tech.

“A lot of youth come to New Door not knowing where they want to work, but I knew I wanted an office job,” Tiffany says. “I know office jobs [require using] technology, and I love technology. I am constantly on my computer learning different programs. It’s where I thrive.”

Tiffany and other Interns interested in working in the tech industry recently took field trip to Salesforce to learn about different career paths and try out TrailHead, a free program to learn Salesforce.

Though she was excited to learn new skills in a field she’s deeply interested in, Tiffany admittedly had insecurities surrounding her first job, which can be attributed to her attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Her disability can lead to feeling anxious in professional situations.

“You know how a chihuahua shakes?” says Tiffany. “That’s how I feel a lot of the time.”

Though at times she struggled to keep up with the fast pace of the office, she was able to learn time-management skills thanks to the support of her supervisor. Tiffany proudly graduated with the Zebras cohort in 2017 and in July 2018 was accepted into Year Up, a one-year program featuring six months of technical skills training and a six-month internship at companies like Salesforce and Microsoft.

Once a week, Tiffany travels to New Door for Tech Club to learn the coding language SWIFT and how to make app interfaces. She’s excited about starting a career in IT and is appreciative of the professional support and experience she’s gained from her time with New Door.

“I am grateful that my door broke that day, [because] I didn’t know what I was going to do after finishing the program,” she says. “[My] ADHD was the reason I never thought that I would be able to get and hold a job, as many people with disabilities struggle to do normal things. New Door helped me prove to myself that I can. Knowing that has made all the difference.”

Tiffany attends an “Hour of Code” workshop at New Door, a one hour introduction to computer science, to show that anyone can learn the basics.