Live a Life You’ve Never Seen

Mother to son… “Just watch what happens next.”

It is very challenging to behave or live a life you’ve never seen. Most emulate the interactions of those they are around. Those that strive to be different from their surroundings or upbringing do so with a great deal of focus, passion, effort, and growth. It is no small thing when someone recognizes that gaps in their background, environment or self are holding them back from living a more fulfilling and stable life. We can continue to point fingers at the possible causes and develop programs that just provide a bit of hope in a world that is not accepting of minimal qualifications or we can do more.

This challenge is demonstrated across the world in multiple facets of life and spans socioeconomic boundaries. The child who watched their mother abused grows up determined to not be an abuser or be abused but lacks the tools they need to protect themselves from falling into the same traps. The single mother that lacks the education or support system she needs to provide for her child finds herself ill-equipped to handle the challenges that lie ahead. Leading to a cascading cycle of bad decision making — while her child watches. Perhaps the guy that grew up in a disadvantaged part of the world lacking the basic needs to function in today’s society but has a gift for learning is never given a chance to reach his full potential before starting a family. This sets him off on a path of surviving but not thriving.

Our country, states, and cities fund thousands of youth programs with the intention of providing them with exposure to careers and lives they have never seen. There are boundless opportunities for the young to overcome the challenges of their environment gaining skills of the future. However, if we do not provide opportunities and meaningful development to the adults in their immediate surroundings many of these dreams fizzle before they can ever really start.

Instead of picking the fruit off a dying tree... we choose to focus on the well being of the tree which will nurture and provide for the fruit.

The honest and deliberate way to truly make a difference in our most blighted neighborhoods, stabilize a family on the brink of divorce due to financial challenges, ensure that those mentally traumatized from a life of psychological abuse have access to quality mental health treatment does not lie in youth career programs. The future of our country lies in the hope, opportunity, and chances we invest in our adult workforce now. There is a forced understanding that in order to be successful you have to move away from the neighborhood you know, leave family, friends and your support system. This causes people to choose either themselves and their future selves or the people they love. Those that choose to remain in a broken system are looked down upon and shunned from a workforce that could afford to take a risk on growing this individual thereby restoring an area without so much as stepping foot in it. These are missed opportunities…

The Difference Engine was founded to empower adults from non-traditional backgrounds to launch their careers in tech. This is the intentional effort to restore a whole through the investment and belief in the individuals. Individuals that are actively working to foster a safe and stable environment for their families, immediate or extended. Providing them with relevant real-life training for a modern software engineering world. Mentoring them to live a life they may not have seen growing up or were told they did not qualify for. Organically building a network tapped into the tech industry. Making space for new perspectives and diversity to an industry continuously getting in its own way by maintaining a homogenous workforce. An industry that has only reached it’s height by taking chances and investing in long shots. It seems that this same industry now having achieved a certain level of success is so focused on the bottom line, on being efficient and fast it has forgotten where it came from. It has abandoned the scrappy ideas, thoughts, and risks it took to start up the start-ups.

As a nonprofit organization, TDE relies on the support, partnership and monetary donations of those willing to invest in the apprentices that come into our program. We’ve helped over 200 so far!

If this article resonated in any way with you click here to make a donation right now or share this with a forward-thinking company with a clear understanding of corporate responsibility.



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Kimberly Lowe-Williams

CEO at The Difference Engine. Providing real-life software development to nontraditional developers and nonprofits. #PipelineBuilder #NonprofitLeader