Perficient Celebrates 30 New Bright Paths Program Graduates
We are proud to announce the successful completion of our ninth Bright Paths Program cohort and the 30 students who graduated from the coding bootcamp. Since launching the Bright Paths Program in 2020, more than 200 students have graduated from the program with the majority joining Perficient.
Our award-winning Bright Paths Program is designed to advance STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented constituencies and communities, working towards closing the gap in the technology industry. In partnership with Strayer University’s Hackbright Academy and DevMountain, this fully funded coding bootcamp provides students with the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to prepare for careers in the technology field. Throughout the bootcamp, students complete software engineering coursework, learn about the consulting business, and connect with Perficient colleague mentors.
The program is structured into two parts. Students focus on building foundational coding skills during the first half of the program. This lays the groundwork for the second eight weeks when they pick a specialization to focus on for their capstone project. Students hone their newly acquired coding skills to build applications with a professional design that solve real-life problems. The students in this cohort created applications that ranged from a website to manage dance classes, a mental health journal, a virtual garden, a meal planning log, and other creative and helpful resources.
Students join the Bright Paths Program from a diverse array of backgrounds, but they each have a sense of determination and curiosity in common. By the end of the 16-week program, students build a special bond through the shared experience. This stems from going outside their comfort zones, learning new skills, achieving goals, and gaining a sense of pride.
The ninth Bright Paths Program cohort capped off their experience with a virtual graduation ceremony where select applications were demonstrated to the awe and astonishment from fellow cohort members, Hackbright and DevMountain instructors, Perficient colleagues, and students’ friends and family in attendance. The graduation ceremony was a culmination of the students’ hard work and dedication throughout the entire program. Graduates were individually celebrated with a certificate presentation, and spirits were high as everyone came together to celebrate their achievements and cheer each other on.
Jennifer Kash, a graduating member of this cohort, presented a speech on behalf of all the students about their experience throughout the program. Jennifer gave a clear picture of how students spent their time in the program including daily coding challenges, lectures and demos, labs, and mock technical and behavioral interviews. She also explained how Perficient colleagues visited on Fridays to give insight into the consulting world. Beyond the logistics of the program, Jennifer shed a light on the other challenges and rewards that come along with the Bright Paths Program.
Jennifer said, “It’s scary and vulnerable to learn something new as an adult, but the staff was so kind, patient, and warm. This made it easier to ask for help, and our Perficient mentors also made the experience more comfortable because we had someone to talk to. It was difficult adjusting to something new, but it was all worth it. This group of people always made me feel so supported. We’re all here because we wanted to do and be better, and that’s half the battle.”
Andrea Lampert, Vice President of People at Perficient, also spoke at the graduation ceremony. She provided the graduates with invaluable pieces of wisdom and advice as they continue to pursue a career in technology. Andrea also praised the graduates for their hard work and conveyed how proud and inspired she was by the amount of talent in this cohort.
Andrea said, “As you continue your journey, there are four main attributes I believe you should keep in mind – authenticity, curiosity, initiative, and service. Be authentic and true to you, be curious and continue to learn and ask questions, show initiative and own your career, and lastly, be a good human and always be service-minded.”
She concluded her speech by wishing the graduates well on their journey. She said, “You have all shared an experience that will continue to shape you. I encourage you to stay connected and help each other along in your journeys. Perficient promises to challenge, champion, and celebrate our people, and I hope you felt that throughout your journey.”
We are excited to welcome several program graduates to Perficient as new colleagues, and we extend our kudos and congratulations to all of the latest Bright Paths graduates as they embark on their careers in technology.
At Perficient, we continually look for ways to champion and challenge our talented workforce with interesting projects for high-profile clients, encourage personal and professional growth through training and mentoring, and celebrate our people-oriented culture and the innovative ways they serve Perficient and the community.
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